Puhl ball! An Astro has landed in Victoria.
Terry Puhl, soon to be the newest member of the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame, has been hired as UHV’s first head baseball coach.
University President Tim Hudson recently announced that the university will begin an athletics program as members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Baseball and softball programs will begin competing in the 2007-2008 season.
“Terry’s reputation and his views on athletics and higher education are a perfect fit for UHV and the NAIA,” said Hudson. “He brings with him an impeccable personal and professional record of results and has high expectations both in the classroom and on the field.”
Puhl spent 15 years patrolling the Houston Astros’ outfield and is currently the head coach of the Canadian Olympic baseball team. He was named to the 1978 National League All-Star team and continues to hold Major League Baseball’s all-time record for lifetime fielding percentage (.993) by an outfielder.
“I am excited to be given this opportunity,” said Puhl. “It is not often in life you get a chance to build a program from the ground up. I am really looking forward to working with and developing students whose athletic ability allows them to pursue a university degree.”
Puhl is committed to building a solid program with quality students who will excel on and off the field.
UHV faculty athletic representative Dr. Jeffrey R. Di Leo said, “The addition of athletics, similar to the recent addition of the American Book Review, compliments the ever-expanding array of accessible, high-quality academic program offerings at UHV, such as nursing, an online teaching certification program and the new master’s programs in economic development and entrepreneurship and computer information systems. All serve as examples of how UHV is moving forward and becoming a university of choice.”
UHV students are excited about the addition of athletics as well.
“Athletics will enhance student life, engage the community and provide a rallying point for all,” said UHV Student Senate president Danny Ochoa.
As a player, Puhl had a reputation for getting the job done with professionalism and hard work.
“Getting a coach with the qualities and respect that Terry has is quite an accomplishment,” said interim athletic director Ashley Walyuchow, who led a feasibility study on athletics upon Hudson’s request after the subject was vetted at a President’s Cabinet retreat. Baseball and softball quickly rose to the top of the list when existing community facilities, tradition and community support were considered.
“The support of the city of Victoria, VISD, Friends of Baseball, and an expanding group of community boosters has been instrumental in bringing baseball and softball to Victoria,” added Walyuchow. “Without their help, it would have been difficult, if not impossible at this time.”
UHV baseball and softball teams will compete as members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics which includes Houston Baptist University, Huston-Tillotson University and the University of Texas-Brownsville. For more information, contact Ashley Walyuchow at (361) 570-4343.