WASHINGTON - Gallaudet University baseball head coach and former Major League Baseball (MLB) player Curtis Pride accepted the HearStrong Champion Award on Nov. 13 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill at a recent conference.
"It is a nice honor to be named as a HearStrong Champion," said Pride.
Pride will enter his eighth season as Gallaudet's head coach where he has built a program into a consistent contender in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC). The two-time NEAC Coach of the Year has guided the Bison to three straight 20-win season (2012-14) and NEAC regular-season co-champions in 2013 and '14. The 2014 team set a new school record for wins in a season with 27 and posted a program best 12-6 mark in conference play. Pride has won 109 games in seven seasons at GU.
The College of William and Mary graduate (Class of 1990) played for six MLB teams during his career becoming the first deaf player, in the modern era, to play in the major leagues. In June 2010, Pride was appointed to President Obama's Council for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and is still currently serving on this council.
In the fall of 2014, Pride served as head coach for Team USA in the World Physically Challenged (WPC) Tournament in Japan. The majority of the United States team was made up of wounded war veterans and college baseball players with physical challenges. Among others, Pride was accompanied by former Bison William Chapman. Pride guided Team USA to its first gold medal with a 5-0 win over Japan, its first loss in three tournaments.
"Through his successful playing career and work to motivate others with hearing loss, particularly children, to chase their dreams, Curtis is a wonderful example for others to follow," said Ed Keller, founder and president of the HearStrong Foundation. "We're thrilled to call him a HearStrong Champion."
The 2013 Gallaudet University football team received the HearStrong Champion Award and other notable honorees, with connections to Gallaudet athletics, that have been honored by HearStrong over the years including Joshua McGriff (basketball), Bradley Peterson (football).