BLUE MOUNTAIN, Miss. – Blue Mountain College will soon add two sports and the Toppers have turned to familiar names to launch the intercollegiate baseball and softball teams when they begin play in the 2010-2011 academic year.
Curt Fowler, a veteran New Albany High coach, will lead the baseball program and Kevin Barefield, director of information technology services at BMC, will head the softball program. The Toppers are members of the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics and TranSouth Athletics Conference.
“Blue Mountain College is so pleased to expand the Intercollegiate Athletics Program to include baseball and softball,” said Dr. Bettye Rogers Coward, BMC president. “The College is fortunate to have secured the services of coaches with the character and expertise that Curt Fowler and Kevin Barefield bring to the program.
“Both of these coaches understand the mission of Blue Mountain College and are committed to attracting talented athletes in the region who will contribute in a positive and meaningful way to the program and to the student culture. We look forward to the launching these two programs.”
Fowler coached at Potts Camp High for three years before joining New Albany in 2001, where the Bulldogs have been consistent post-season contenders. He will continue as New Albany coach through the 2010 season.
Fowler, an alumnus of the University of Mississippi who grew up in Blue Mountain, has been named coach of the year by the Daily Journal and also District 1-3A coach of the year. He has coached in several regional and statewide all-star games, and has a career record of 181-105. In 2008, the Bulldogs finished third in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal poll and 15th in the statewide Clarion-Ledger poll.
Barefield, a former prep standout at Falkner High and an alumnus of Northeast Mississippi Community College and Mississippi State University, is a longtime summer league baseball and softball coach in the region.
“We’re excited to include baseball and softball as a part of our growing athletic program,” Lavon Driskell, BMC athletics director, said. “We’re really glad to have Curt as head baseball coach and Kevin as head softball coach. Both of them are quality individuals and have a high degree of knowledge about their respective sports. They understand what it takes to be successful and are willing to make that commitment.”
Driskell said BMC was discussing with New Albany city officials the possibility of practicing and playing its home games at the Sportsplex.
“The Sportsplex is one of the finest baseball and softball facilities in this entire region,” he said, “and we’re looking forward to working with New Albany to bring NAIA baseball to the area.”
Blue Mountain College Media Relations