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Oklahoma was in the market for an absolute grinder when long-time head coach Sunny Golloway bolted America’s Heartland for Auburn University.
Boy, did the Sooners find the right guy in Pete Hughes.
Hughes is well respected in the college baseball community, but perhaps most important about his reputation is that he’s hard-nosed and never stops working. For instance, though the Sooners continue to take part in fall workouts, Hughes was on an East Coast recruiting trip earlier this week perhaps scouting the next Oklahoma Sooners commitment.
That’s the type of attitude and hard work that has made Hughes successful at each step along the road. Though Hughes wasn’t able to get Boston College to the NCAA postseason during his eight seasons there, he certainly set the foundation for then BC assistant Mik Aoki, now the Notre Dame head coach, to take the next step forward.
Then there’s his last stint at Virginia Tech. The Hokies didn’t exactly have rich baseball history, but Hughes and his coaching staff, which included now Tech head coach Pat Mason, assembled some impressive talent, particularly on the offensive side of things, and helped the program earn its first NCAA Regional host.
Hughes has helped both Boston College and Virginia Tech build their respective programs into nationally respected products during his tenures. Now, the Brockton, Mass., native is in charge of a program that won’t be surprised to host an NCAA Regional. Instead, all sights are on reaching the College World Series and winning the program’s first national title since 1994.
Though Hughes admits he’s still getting used to big trucks and the future threat of tornadoes, he feels right at home in college-friendly Norman, Okla. He’s just busy.
“Practices have been awesome so far. The players here have embraced us and they’re getting used to the pace we go at,” Hughes said. “I just know I do things a certain way, so it has taken our guys a little time to get used to it.”
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