Curry Excited For New Job

Arkansas volunteer assistant coach Chris Curry will be named head coach Friday at Meridian Community College in Mississippi.

FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas baseball volunteer coach and Conway-native Chris Curry will be named head coach at Meridian (Miss.) Community College on Friday.

Curry, 32, has spent the last two years on Dave Van Horn's Razorback coaching staff, working primarily with catchers. Curry said Wednesday having the opportunity to coach at Meridian - a place he once played - is a dream come true.

Curry spent two years at Meridian as a player before transferring to Mississippi State for his final year of collegiate baseball in 1999.

"My long-term goal is to be a head coach in the SEC and in order to start chasing that dream I've got to be a head coach and get the experience right now," Curry said Wednesday. "This place holds a special place in my heart because it gave me a chance to play in the SEC. When the job came open I knew it would be a great fit both for the college and for me."

The Eagles finished the 2010 season with a 32-19 record. Curry replaces Chris Rose, who left to take the head coaching position at East Mississippi Community College following the season.

Meridian is one of the top programs in junior college baseball with seven JUCO World Series appearances since 1993. Curry was a member of one of those world series teams in 1998, along with current MLB all-star Cliff Lee.

"For a junior college it's a storied program and a national power, and I want to maintain that," Curry said. "The experience at Arkansas has been priceless in preparing me for this new job. Watching those guys work every day has laid out a great blueprint for a young head coach to follow. I count myself lucky and blessed to be here when I was during two of the best years of Arkansas baseball."

Leaving the Razorbacks is bittersweet, Curry said. Arkansas won 84 games over the last two seasons and recorded the school's first back-to-back 40-win seasons since joining the Southeastern Conference.

"Being in Fayetteville has been a blessing for my family and for me," Curry said. "We were able to have our first child, Caleb, here so there will always be great memories. I've had the chance to go to Omaha and a super regional, and coach great players like Zack Cox, James McCann, Brett Eibner and Andy Wilkins. Coach Van Horn had treated me wonderfully and allowed me to coach, make decisions and learn under him; as have the other coaches.

"I feel like I'm leaving the top of the mountain to go climb another mountain. But that's what you've got to do a lot of times as a coach is leave in order to come back."

Before coming to Arkansas, Curry spent a combined three years as an assistant coach for Arkansas Tech and both the San Francisco Giants' and Chicago Cubs' minor league organizations.

As a player he was a ninth-round selection out of college and played minor league baseball for the Cubs from 1999 to 2002 and for the Giants from 2003 to 2005.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories