Retired Aucilla Christian Academy (Monticello, Fla.) baseball coach Ray Hughes was recently presented the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Jerry Kindall Character in Coaching Award. The award is presented annually to a baseball coach who best exemplifies the Christian principles of character, integrity, excellence, teamwork and service both on and off the baseball field.
Ray Hughes (center) with FCA's Steve McHargue (left) and ACA principal Richard Finlayson.
Hughes was presented the award by FCA area representative Steve McHargue at halftime of a basketball game at Aucilla Christian Academy in December, and was honored at an FCA event at the American Baseball Coaches Association convention in Dallas earlier this month.
Hughes becomes the first high school coach to be presented the award.
In 34 years as a head baseball coach, Hughes compiled a 556-264 overall record, while leading his teams to 13 district championships, a pair of regional titles and one state runner-up finish. Among the players he coaches was former Major League Baseball single-season saves record holder Bobby Thigpen, whose 57 saves for the Chicago White Sox stood as the big league standard for 18 years.
"In all my years of involvement in education and athletics, I have never encountered a more humble, honorable, dedicated, Christ-centered individual as Ray Hughes," said ACA principal Richard Finlayson, who played for Hughes as a student-athlete and coached against Hughes before becoming Hughes' supervisor as the school's principal.
Along with his coaching duties, Hughes has served on the North Florida FCA leadership team for two decades. Hughes and his wife, Jaunice's, oldest son, Ray, was an FCA president while in high school, and is now a pastor at a growing church. Hughes' daughter, Heather, also served as an FCA officer in high school.
The award is named in honor of longtime University of Arizona head coach Jerry Kindall. Kindall, who won a national championship as a player at the University of Minnesota before playing in the Major Leagues for his hometown Minnesota Twins, as well as for the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians. Kindall became one of the all-time great college baseball coaches, leading Arizona to three College World Series championships. He is a member of FCA’s Hall of Champions and the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
JERRRY KINDALL AWARD WINNERS
|2007 ||Jerry Kindall ||Arizona |
|2008 ||Mark Johnson ||Texas A&M |
|2009 ||Elliot Johnson ||Trevecca Nazarene |
|2010 ||Dr. Carroll Land ||Point Loma Nazarene |
|2011 ||Victor "Bubba" Cates ||Tennessee-Martin |
|2012 ||Scott Berry ||Mayville State |
|2013 ||Rusty Stroupe ||Gardner-Webb |
|2014 ||Ray Hughes ||Aucilla Christian Academy |
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