Colonels have new coach

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 21, 2005

THIBODAUX, La. – Pending approval by the University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors, James “Chip” Durham will become Nicholls State University’s seventh head baseball coach. Durham replaces B.D. Parker, who retired at the end of May.

“Chip Durham comes highly recommended and fits the profile we were looking for in a new baseball coach,” Nicholls Athletics Director Rob Bernardi said. “He is extremely hardworking, energetic and has a reputation as an outstanding recruiter. I am quite confident Chip can revive our baseball program.”

The 35-year old Durham comes to Thibodaux after spending the past three years as the head baseball coach at Crowder College. During his three-year career with the Roughriders, Durham compiled a 94-84 overall record and had eight players go on to sign with major Division I programs, two NCJAA All-Americans, five NJCAA First team All-Region XVI players, as well as four players get drafted in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. During his first season at Crowder, Durham guided the Roughriders to a fourth place finish in the NJCAA Region XVI Tournament. He followed that up with a third place finish in 2004 and was runner-up during this past season.

Prior to his stint at Crowder College, Durham served as an assistant coach at Northeast Texas Community College for two seasons working with the hitters and infielders, while also coaching third base. Durham also served as the recruiting coordinator and was instrumental in recruiting former Colonel outfielder Bubba Bell, who played two seasons at Northeast Texas CC.

Durham got his first taste of the Southland Conference in 1998, when he served two seasons as an assistant coach at Texas-San Antonio under former head coach Mickey Lashley. While working with hitters and infielders, Durham helped guide the Roadrunners to a third place finish in the 1999 SLC Tournament.

Durham began his full-time coaching career in 1996 as an assistant coach at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville working with the infielders and hitters, while coaching third base. During his two-year stint in Fayetteville under former head coach Norm DeBriyn, the Razorbacks finished second in the Southeastern Conference Tournament in 1998 and went on to finish third in the 1998 NCAA Division I Midwest Regional Tournament in post-season play.

“Chip Durham will be a significant asset to Nicholls State University, not only because of his coaching ability, but also because he is a team player,” University of Arkansas athletics director Frank Broyles said. “Chip will build relationships for the athletic department and the university and will be active in community affairs. He always has an attitude of gratitude for the opportunities given to him. He will make a difference.”

As a player, Durham prepped at Tioga High School in Tioga, La. where he won back-to-back Class AAA State Championships in 1986 and 1987. He went on to letter two years at Angelina Junior College in Lufkin, Texas and finished out his collegiate career at the University of Arkansas-Monticello, where he served as team captain for two years.

“I am really excited to be named the head baseball coach at Nicholls and to be a part of the Nicholls athletic family,” Durham said. “I would like to thank the Nicholls president Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert and athletics director Rob Bernardi for giving me this opportunity. I look forward to working with the entire university staff, as well as the community in getting Nicholls baseball back in the right direction.”

A resident of Tioga, La., Durham earned a bachelor’s of science degree in health and physical education from Arkansas-Monticello in 1994 and went on to earn a master’s in health and physical education in 1996 from Delta State University. Durham is married to the former Angie Thurman of Eureka Springs, Ark. and they have two children, Carlee (2) and Ty (8 months).