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Demons sign former Arkansas assistant as new pitching coach
Jul 12, 2012 | 275 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Curry
Curry
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Chris Curry, a former Arkansas Razorbacks assistant coach who guided Meridian (Miss.) Community College to a conference championship this spring, is the new pitching coach for the Northwestern State baseball program.

Curry, a veteran of seven years as catcher in professional baseball with the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants organizations, was hired by the Demons’ new head coach, Lane Burroughs. Curry’s appointment as assistant coach is subject to the approval of the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System.

The 2012 Miss-Lou Conference coach of the year, Curry was 69-44 in two seasons at Meridian CC following two years under former Demon head coach Dave Van Horn at Arkansas. Curry played for legendary coach Ron Polk as a catcher at Mississippi State in 1999.

Curry, 34, coached two junior college All-Americans and produced the leading home run hitters in the NJCAA in both seasons he was head coach. Two of his players were selected in the 2012 major league baseball draft while the team raised its cumulative grade point average from 2.62 to 3.30 in Curry’s two seasons in charge. The Eagles were 69-44 under his leadership.

He coached under Van Horn and associate head coach Keith Butler at Arkansas, working with the catchers and assisting Butler with the hitters. He coached third and first base, assisted with calling pitches, scouting and practice organization. In 2009, Razorback catchers led the Southeastern Conference in runners caught stealing (34) after ranking last in the league in that stat a year before Curry came on board.

He helped develop three Razorback standouts who went in the top two rounds of the draft, including 2010 SEC batting champion Zack Cox. Arkansas reached the Tempe Super Regional in 2010 as Razorback catchers led the SEC in fewest passed balls (3).

A year earlier, Curry helped Arkansas finish fourth at the 2009 College World Series. At Arkansas Tech in the 2008 season as an assistant coach, he worked with the hitters and catchers as the Wonder Boys raised their team batting average by 26 points to a robust .311, producing the individual Gulf South Conference batting champion (Jantzen Black, .452)

His seven-year pro playing career included appearances in major league spring training games from 2002-05 and he caught big leaguers Kerry Wood, Carlos Zambrano, Mark Prior and Tom Gordon in minor league starts.

Curry worked up to the Triple-A level with the Cubs organization between 1999-2002.

He was in Double-A with the Giants until the 2005 season, then concluded his pro career in 2006 by becoming an All-Star with the independent Northern League’s Gary Southshore Railcats.

At two different stops in his career, he played for current Cubs third-base coach Pat Listach, a Natchitoches native and the 1992 National League Rookie of the Year.

A native of Conway, Ark., Curry was an all-state pitcher and catcher for Conway High School’s Wampus Cats, setting 10 hitting and catching records between 1994-96.

He played two seasons at Meridian CC, where he was rated the No. 1 junior college player in the country in 19998 by Baseball America and was the starting catcher for Team USA’s Junior College All-Star team that played against Japan that year.

Twice an All-Miss-Lou Conference pick and All-Region 23, he was a Cape Cod League All-Star in the summer of 1998.

Curry signed with Polk’s Mississippi State squad and led the SEC’s catchers in fielding percentage in 1999 before being chosen by the Cubs in the ninth round and starting his pro career.

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