Sept. 23, 2013


Meet Oklahoma’s Pete Hughes

By Sean Ryan Co-Founder @collbaseball


Before Pete Hughes arrived at Boston College, the program averaged 13 wins the previous 35 seasons. The Eagles averaged 31 wins over his eight seasons.


At Virginia Tech, Hughes guided the Hokies to a pair of NCAA tournaments in seven seasons, the program’s first since 2000. Included was a turn as Regional host in 2013.

Unlike his previous two stops, Oklahoma has a storied college baseball tradition that includes 10 trips to the College World Series. Hughes replaces Sunny Golloway, who departed for Auburn after five straight 40-win seasons and a 2010 trip to Omaha.   


First Inning - What attracted you to Oklahoma, and what made it a fit right now, especially after leading Virginia Tech back to the NCAA tourney?

I was blown away by the resources at Oklahoma. They certainly put you in a position to be THE recruiting presence in the region. The resources also put you in a position to compete for a national championship. I feel like the timing in my coaching career was right to make a move. I honestly believe I have 10 more years in this crazy profession, and I would like to see how far we can go.


Second Inning - It seemed to happen quickly - walk me through the hiring process. How quick was the actual process?

Oklahoma did all of the background on the candidates they wanted to speak to, well before I was contacted. I spoke to Oklahoma on a Saturday, met with them in Dallas on Sunday, was offered the job on Tuesday, flew to Norman on Wednesday and had a press conference on Thursday. Pretty accelerated. 


Third Inning - Some may wonder: Why leave the ACC for the Big 12?

The Big 12 is a very successful conference with a strong tradition in its own right. 


Fourth Inning - How did the shootings on Virginia Tech’s campus change you as a coach or person? And what do you remember from playing the first sporting event on Tech’s campus after the tragedy?

The shooting on campus was one of those life-changing events for everybody involved, including myself.  It certainly reminded me how insignificant our profession, and the world of college athletics really is compared to the gravity of that event. That  game was surreal, however it was an honor to be able to put some smiles back on a lot of people’s faces, if only for three hours.


Fifth Inning - What are a few of your fondest memories from coaching the Hokies?

My fondest memories will always begin and end with the coaches I coached with and the players that played for us and the relationships that were made. Hosting a Regional this past June will be something I will always treasure. In seven years, we transformed a cow pasture into a Regional host. I was so proud to be a part of a tremendous coaching staff and team to have brought that event to Blacksburg.  Also, when our guys raised close to $40,000 for childhood cancer awareness-special group. Lastly, I had the privilege of working side by side on a daily basis with one of the greatest coaches of our time, Coach Beamer. What an inspiration for my growth as a coach and person.


Sixth Inning - What will you miss about coaching in the ACC?

I will miss the week-in and week-out grind of conference play. The competitive spirit was always at its highest levels. That’s the funnest part of our profession. There was never a weekend off, and I loved that about the ACC. I will also miss some of the strong relationships I formed with my peers throughout the league.


Seventh Inning - What will you miss most about Blacksburg?

Without a doubt I will miss the people within the community and the people within the athletic department that allowed me to raise my family in such a special way for the past seven years. Blacksburg is unique to itself. It is absolutely one of the crown jewels of all college communities.


Eighth Inning - Giving back to the community was important to you at Tech. Will you continue “19 Ways” or something similar at Oklahoma?

Yes absolutely.  We have already established 19 ways as part of our Sooner Baseball program. I am also humbled that Coach Mason has decided to continue on with 19 ways at Virginia Tech. It is a tremendous way to honor my mother’s legacy and to help out a lot of people who are in need.


Ninth Inning - What are your impressions of the Oklahoma baseball program as you take over?

I am blown away by the tradition of this athletic department and our baseball program. I am following a long line of some of the best coaches in college baseball. Coach Enos Semore brought Oklahoma to Omaha five straight years in the 70s. Coach Cochell brought three different institutions to Omaha and won a National Championship in 1994. Specifically, I am impressed with our players and their eagerness to learn and how hungry they are to reach the highest level of college baseball.


(photo courtesy of Virginia Tech Media Relations Office)