Dupont wins 500th and 501st games at HolmesBy STEVE DIFFEY,
The wins keep piling on for Holmes Community College Head Baseball Coach Kenny Dupont. With two wins over Spoon River Wednesday, Dupont picked up his 500th and 501st wins as the skipper of the baseball program here.
After the game one win, his current players and many Bulldog baseball alumni joined Dupont near the pitcher's mound for the game ball presentation from Holmes Community College President Dr. Jim Haffey. Shaun Blaylock, who played for Dupont during his first year as head coach, was in attendance to witness the 500th win as well. His record now stands at 501-204 at Holmes.
Dupont came into the 2017 season with 493 wins, which ranked him as the seventh winningest coach in the MACJC. With the wins Wednesday, Dupont is 22 wins from taking the sixth spot away from former Hinds Community College coach Rick Clark. Terry Thompson holds the record at 767 wins in 23 years at Mississippi Delta Community College.
Dupont joined the Holmes Community College baseball coaching staff in 1996 as an assistant coach in charge of the pitchers, hitters and recruiting. During that season, the Dogs earned their first playoff trip to the NJCAA Region 23 Championship Tournament. During Dupont's four seasons as assistant coach, the Dogs had winning seasons and earned two trips to the NJCAA Region 23 Championship Tournament. After leaving HCC, twenty of those players went on to play for universities and two were drafted into the Major league Draft.
Since Dupont became head coach in 2000, the Dogs have had 17 straight winning seasons with seven trips to the NJCAA Region 23 Championship Tournament, and seven trips to the MACJC State Championship Tournament. At the close of the 2001 season, the Bulldogs were ranked 20th in the NJCAA national baseball poll with an overall record of 34-11. The Dogs finished the 2002 season ranked 18th with a 34-15 record. During this time, the Bulldog Baseball program has had 112 players go on to play at universities and 27 who have been drafted or signed to play professional baseball.
The 2009 Bulldogs finished runner-up in both the MACJC State Championship and the NJCAA Region XXIII Championship Tournament. The Bulldogs won the MACJC North Division Championship in 2011. They also finished third in the MACJC State Championship Tournament and third in the NJCAA Region XXIII Championship Tournament. Under Dupont, the Bulldogs have competed in the MACJC State Tournament during the 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014 seasons and in the Region XXIII Tournament from 2000-2005 and 2009 and 2011.
Coach Dupont coached the most famous Dirtbag of all-time Roy Oswalt in 1996-97. Oswalt was drafted out of Holmes by the Houston Astros. He is a MLB All-Star, MVP of the MLB Playoffs, pitched in the World Series and a future Hall of Famer.
Prior to joining the HCC staff, Dupont served as an assistant baseball coach at George C. Wallace Junior College in Dothan, Ala. under the legendary Coach Sammy Frichter. Then he served as assistant baseball coach at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La. under Coach Mike Knight.
Coach Dupont was a scout for the Baltimore Orioles conducting tryout camps from 1992-2010 under Scouting Supervisor Mike Tullier.
Dupont is a member of the Mississippi Coaches Association, American Baseball Coaches Association and the Crossroads Diamond Club and MLB-RBI, reviving baseball in the inner cities.
Former Bulldogs who are currently coaching in the college ranks include: Stuart Morgan, Louisiana College; Stephen Waggener, Delta State University; Mike Jones, University of West Alabama; Ryne Smith, University of West Alabama; and Mike Avalon, Pearl River Community College. Luke Barthel is the strength coach at Duke University. Xan Barksdale, who coached last at East Tennessee State University, is now a best-selling author and also develops many videos on the art of catching.
Wil Browning of Sallis is currently playing in the Toronto Blue Jays organization and is going through Spring Training. He recently took a break to welcome home his first child, Huck.