ECU baseball coach steps down

After three seasons as East Central University head baseball coach, Mike Hurt has decided to step down to focus on his family.

“I’m away from my family a lot and would like to spend more quality time with them at home in Norman,” said Hurt about his reason for the resignation.

Hurt, a member of ECU’s Athletic Hall of Fame, took over the Tiger program in 2007 and had few remaining players from the previous season. His 2008 squad showed vast improvement over the 2007 team, which struggled through a 9-47 season. In 2008, ECU improved to 19-37.

The 2009 team just completed a 14-38 campaign and was hit hard by injuries to the pitching staff. Only one of the Tigers’ top three projected pitchers made it through the season and that one (Randell Shrouder) was bothered by injuries and, at times, was limited in pitch counts. In fact, one (Kolbie Brown, the Tigers’ top pitcher in 2008) didn’t make it into season and the other (Colt Simon) threw just one game.

“I loved everything here. I’m going to miss the program and players,” said Hurt. “My heart will always be here. I know I won’t see all the benefits, but they will come. I know the record didn’t show it, but things are headed in the right direction with the fundraising, projects and players coming in. Now someone can step in and take things to the next level.”

Hurt was a four-time all-conference baseball selection for coach Ken Turner at ECU and was twice named an NAIA All-District 9 honorable mention award winner. As the Tigers’ shortstop and third baseman, Hurt had a .358 career batting average and stole 70 bases during his four-year stay.

Prior to his arrival at ECU, Hurt was head softball coach at Del City High School for 11 years as he posted a 272-167 record from 1995-2006. He also served as Del City’s assistant baseball coach from 2003-06.

He had a high school head baseball coaching record of 363-258 over an 18-year period at Del City (1993-2001), Tupelo (1991-93), Allen (1986-90) and Carter (1981-84).

Among Hurt’s awards are: All-Big City Baseball Coach of the Year, All-Big City Softball Coach of the Year and All-State Large West Coach of the Year.

He also coached girls and boys basketball at the high school level at Tupelo and Allen.

Following his playing career, Hurt served a year as a graduate assistant coach for Turner and spent two more years on the staff as an assistant.

A 1973 graduate of Midland High School (Texas), Hurt was a member of the state championship team there his senior year while gathering all-state and all-tournament awards at shortstop. His .667 batting average was third best in state tournament history.

Hurt received his bachelor of science degree in education from ECU in 1981 and has a master’s degree in secondary education with an emphasis in counseling from ECU in 1986.

“I can’t thank coach Hurt enough for the time and effort he has put into the ECU baseball program the last three seasons. He will be greatly missed,” said ECU Director of Athletics Brian DeAngelis.

A national search for a new head coach will begin immediately, according to DeAngelis.

“I wish coach Hurt the best for the future and appreciate the effort and enthusiasm that he injected into the baseball program over the past three years,” said ECU Interim President Dr. Duane C. Anderson.

Hurt’s wife is Michelle. He has five children – Jon, Adrienne and Noel – and two stepsons – Cal and Lucas.

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