Cumberland University’s Woody Hunt was named the 2014 NAIA-Baseball Coaches Association (NAIA-BCA) National Coach of the Year, the national office announced last week.
The Bulldogs won their third Avista-NAIA World Series championship this past season, capping Hunt’s 33rd season as head coach of the program.
“It is a great honor when your peers recognize your accomplishments, but as I’ve said many times, this is really a team award,” Hunt said. “Our club went through a tough stretch in March but then continually got better each week in April and May and we got tremendous contributions from so many players along the way that allowed us to win another national championship.”
Cumberland was the only non-No. 1 seed to advance out of the NAIA Championship Opening Round and the first No. 10 seed to win the Avista-NAIA World Series. The Bulldogs ranked in the Top 10 nationally in a host of categories, including leading the countr in at-bats (2,258) while ranking among the Top 10 in hits (711), runs scored (495), RBIs (442) and doubles (125).
Senior second baseman Sam Lind, who was voted the 2014 Avista-NAIA World Series Most Valuable Player and a First Team All-American, individually led the NAIA in at-bats (270), hits (109), total bases (180) and RBIs (91).
Cumberland ended 2014 with a 49-20 record en route to titles at the World Series, the Opening Round Kingsport Bracket and the Mid-South Conference Tournament. The league title is Hunt’s sixth in the Mid-South Conference and 12th conference tournament crown in the last 18 seasons.
Under Hunt, Cumberland owns 24 seasons with 40 or more victories, including 20 of the last 22 years. The Bulldogs have registered eight 50-plus wins seasons, including a program record 59 wins in 2004. He currently ranks atop the NAIA’s winningest active coaches list with a 1,452-604-4 record, more than 180 victories ahead of the next closest individual. Cumberland has produced 64 NAIA All-Americans with 79 of Hunt’s former players have signed professional contracts.
Individually, Hunt has previously been named the national coach of the year twice with the most recent coming in 2010.
The NAIA-BCA National Coach of the Year is voted on by the NAIA-BCA Executive Committee and NAIA-BCA Past Presidents. To be eligible, a head coach must be selected as their conference or unaffiliated group coach of the year or lead their team to the Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series.