BLUE MOUNTAIN, Miss. (Blue Mountain College has announced its head softball coach Tyler Herring will be stepping down after three seasons.
During Herring's tenure, he led the program to a 64-81 record, including a 28-44 record inside the Southern States Athletic Conference.
During the 2018 season, the Herring-guided Toppers saw pitching ace Montanna Smith (FR/Jonesboro, Ark.) set the single season record for wins inside the circle (20).
BMC associate head coach Ken Hardwick commented, "Coach Herring brought a lot of knowledge of the game, what it takes to get to the national tournament and developing players fundamentally to our program from his experience at Williams Baptist. He was instrumental in the construction of the new facility and starting the junior varsity program all in one year at BMC. It took countless hours during each year trying to find the right players who fit our program. If it wasn't for his willingness to put those long hours in with me and getting home at two in the morning on Sunday's from weekend recruiting trips, we wouldn't have the program where it is today. I appreciate everything he has done and when we get that conference championship and trip to the national tournament in the next couple of years, he definitely will have played a major role in building the foundation for that accomplishment."
Under Herring's direction, BMC finished the 2016 season with the highest batting average for the program, along with setting records in total runs scored, total hits and total extra base hits. In his three seasons, his teams carried the highest batting averages since the beginning of the program (.284). During the 2018 season, Herring guided the Toppers to the semi-finals of the SSAC Tournament, the deepest any BMC Softball team has ever been in the post-season.
"The last three years have truly been a blessing and we are so thankful God led us here to Blue Mountain," Herring stated. "We've seen some great things in softball, including growth across the board for our athletics department. We expanded our roster size in softball so we could compete at the varsity and junior varsity levels, which has strengthened our program in a tough SSAC conference."
Herring also talked about his desire to spend more time with his family, "Before I knew I wanted to be a softball coach, I knew I wanted to be a dad. My son Branch is 18 months old, and as strong as my passion is for softball, my passion and desire to spend more time with my family has grown exponentially. Staci and I cannot begin to put into words how difficult it was for us to decide to leave behind all our friends and co-workers we have built such strong relationships with. I am so thankful for the opportunity Dr. (Barbara) McMillin gave me to lead this program through all its challenges and improvements. BMC is forever in our hearts, and we wish the college and all athletic programs nothing but success in the future."
BMC Athletic Director Will Lowrey said, "We cannot put into words the appreciation that we have for Tyler and his wife, Staci, for their commitment not only to the building of our softball program, but to the overall mission of our institution. His presence will be greatly missed at Blue Mountain College. He has gained respect across the coaching profession as one of the brightest young coaches in the conference. As with all great coaches, he has put in countless hours to get us where we are today. Our prayers are with Tyler and his family as they move on to the next chapter in their lives."
The college has announced the search for Herring's replacement is currently under way.