Oklahoma Silencing Vocal DoubtersWeekend Spotlight
Oklahoma head coach Pete Hughes has never stopped believing in the process.
There were times last season, though, when OU fans indeed did stop believing in his plan and process. As the 2016 regular season campaign ended, it was obvious the Sooners were going to miss the NCAA postseason with a 30-27 overall record and losing mark in the Big 12 Conference. That campaign followed years that had records of 28-27 and 34-27, respectively.
There was skepticism abound in Norman, Okla., and almost every comment we made about OU on social media was met with a quick, abrupt, “Well, what about Pete Hughes? Is his job safe right now?”. It was striking just how many people inquired with that question. The fans were frustrated about the Sooners missing the postseason yet again. And you can’t blame them. However, Hughes’ record has always suggested you need a little patience. After all, he took Virginia Tech to the postseason after four years at the helm and helped it host a regional in his seventh and final season.
Yes, it’s hard to be patient today, but Hughes insisted all along he had a plan. And you know what? He appears to be right, as the Sooners are one of the great stories in college baseball so far this season with a 23-5 overall record and 2-1 mark in the Big 12 after hitting the road and taking two of three from Baylor last weekend.
“We have a long way to go, and this is a really good league, but it’s been a good start,” Hughes said. “As for the chatter out there about me during the offseason, I never like to feel like I need to motivate myself. I always tell our players not to give validity to all the noise you hear out there on social media or wherever, and I’m the same way.
“All I know is that in my entire career, I assess the program, give my assessment and give my plan to our program and administrators. Whether it was going to take one or two years, I never backed down from my original assessment,” he continued. “I liked the plan we put forth. Am I surprised? Not for a second. This might not have been a two-month plan, but I’ve never stopped believing in our guys’ ability to put it all together. But again, it’s still early this season. Heck, we’re not even at the halfway mark yet.”
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