Longtime Cumberland University baseball coach Woody Hunt received the Fred Russell Lifetime Achievement Award Thursday night at the 15th annual Pepsi Celebration of Champions at the Grand Ole Opry House.
The award is given annually to a middle Tennessee area individual for their superior lifetime achievement in the world of sports at the Pepsi Celebration of Champions presented by Kroger.
Former University of Tennessee Lady Vols head coach Pat Summitt won the Fred Russell Lifetime Achievement Award last year and former winners include Larry Schmittou, Ronnie Carter, Charlie Anderson, Darrell Waltrip, Ed Temple, Jim Fyke and Bill Wade.
In addition, the Nashville Sports Council presented The Kaia Jergenson Courage Award to sixth grade Mt. Juliet Christian Academy student Andrew Kittrell, a football standout and a four-time Endeavor Games gold medalist.
Coach Hunt was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in the last three years. He is currently in his 34th year at Cumberland and 32nd as the head coach of the Bulldogs.
The Danville, Ky., native has won more than 1,300 games, one of only six active coaches in the NAIA with more than 1,000 victories. The Bulldogs have appeared in 11 NAIA World Series, including five in the last nine seasons, claiming national championships in 2004 and 2010 as well as runner-up finishes in 1995 and 2006.
Cumberland has won 19 conference championships during Hunt’s tenure, including 10 in the Tennessee Collegiate Athletic Conference (TCAC), five in the Mid-South Conference (MSC) and four in the TranSouth Conference (TSAC). CU has four district championships, 12 NAIA regional titles and has played in five super regionals as well.
The program has posted 22 seasons with 40 or more victories, including 18 of the last 20 years, while registering 50 or more wins eight times, all since 1997. The 2004 squad set the school-record for victories with 59, followed closely behind by the 2010 club with a 58-9 mark.
The Bulldogs have produced 60 NAIA All-Americans, including 2010 National Player of the Year Matt Greener and Steve Green, the only three-time All-American in program history. Seventy-six of Hunt’s former players have signed professional contracts.
More information on the 15th annual Pepsi Celebration of Champions presented by Kroger may be found by visiting www.nashvillesports.com.