Baseball's Kurt Dugan: Where Are They Now?
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Baseball's Kurt Dugan: Where Are They Now?

The Dugan name is synonymous with baseball coaching in Tennessee due to the legacy of longtime Lipscomb University coach Ken Dugan. His son, Kurt, is carrying on the family tradition in Florida where he directed Christ's Church Academy to its first ever Florida High School Athletic Association appearance. Dugan's team advanced to the Class 2A championship game and finished second in the tournament. Kurt Dugan wears many hats at Christ's Church Academy. He spent some time with talking about his time at Lipscomb and his life as a coach in Florida.

What years did you play at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?

"I played baseball from 1991-96. I had a couple of surgeries and got redshirted so it kind of drug it out a little bit.

"I played mostly in the outfield and I caught a little bit.

"My Dad was the head coach. There were several different assistants while I was there - Al Austelle, Lynn Griffith, Kolin Holladay, Roy Pardue, Randy Bostic and Mike Rippetoe."

What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?

"I would say one of my personal ones was hitting a home run against Cumberland, one of our big rivals. It was on a weekend in 1996 and we were playing them at our place. They were No. 3 in the country at the time.

"I was not a home run hitter by any means. We ended up beating them in two of the three games. It was a crazy finish. We started one game on Friday night and darkness hit. It was before we had lights there. We had to finish that game on Saturday morning and then play a doubleheader.

"I also enjoyed the time I spent with my teammates on bus rides and on the seventh floor of high rise. I have a lot of great memories of that."

Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?

"It was definitely my father. There were so many things that he taught me whether it was when I was growing up or playing for him in college.

"It was all about the little things He was more than just concerned about the things on the field. He was concerned with things off of the field as well. He wanted us to be good young men and not just good baseball players.

"Now that I have been a coach for 19 years there are so many things I look back on that he taught me that I use as a coach today. There are so many times I am on the field I will say something and realize that is something he had said to me. He had an impact on me as to who I am today, not only as a coach but as a person."

What was it like to play college baseball for your father?

"At times it was easy. At other times it was hard.

"I did not always handle things the best that I could have. It was kind of a learning process.  I always felt like I had something that I had to prove because I was his son and I was on the team. I didn't want people to think I was on the team just because I was his son. I felt like I needed to prove something to the guys.

"I felt like he treated me like he did the other players. A benefit for me was my brother, Mike, had already played for him. Maybe they worked out a lot of the kinks and it was a little bit easier for me."

What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?

"Meeting and dating my wife, Amy. I would not have met her had I not been redshirted and been on the longer academic plan.

"I met her my fifth year in college. We were both R.A.s. I was an R.A. in High Rise. She was an R.A. in Elam. They had a retreat right before school started to show us the ropes and show us all of the things we would be doing. That was the first time I met her. I was actually introduced to her by one of my teammates, J.D. Blackburn.

'I would also say the relationships I made with my teammates and other people I met on campus. I am still in contact with many of them through phone calls, emails and text messages. It was great to meet all those different people."

What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?

"The thing that probably sticks with me the most goes back to baseball and my father as well. When I was a young kid he would walk in the door of our house after a game and we couldn't tell if he had won or lost.

"He had left the baseball game at the field. That really stuck with me. We would be in the living room asking him if he had won or lost and to give us details.

"When I get home I want to be with my family and focus my attention on them. I leave the game at the ball field. That is something that has really struck with me."

Who was your favorite professor? Why?

"I majored in government and public administration with a psychology minor.

"I have three favorite professors. Dr. Dwight Tays taught most of the classes in my major. He made sure I was on track to have everything done. He was very thorough in making sure I had all of my classes taken care of for both my major and minor.

"I would also say Dr. Kent Johnson. I had him for two or three classes. His classes were some of the toughest I took. But he was a great teacher and really worked with you to make sure you had the information. One of the classes I took with him was over the summer and I had ankle surgery due to an injury in the spring. I will never forget I was at the house recovering and he stopped by to see how the surgery went.

"I took my father for two classes. It was neat to see him as a professor. It turned out he was the same on the field, at home and in the classroom. They were enjoyable classes for me. It was information he had been teaching me my whole life and that made it a little bit easier."

Where do you live now?

"Jacksonville, Florida."

Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?

"I am assistant athletic director, dean of students and I coach the high school baseball team at Christ's Church Academy. I usually teach one or two classes as well. It is pretty busy schedule.

"We had a lot of fun this year in baseball. We were 26-4 and three of our losses were to higher division teams that all made the playoffs. I am very proud of the boys. We were the first team at our school to make to the final four.

"I have been here for 16 years (Editor's note: He coached three years at Ezell-Harding in Nashville before moving to Florida). This our ninth year to have a varsity baseball program. I was the middle school coach for a while and then we added the high school team."

Tell us about your family.

My wife, Amy, and I have two children. Our daughter, Savanna, is 15 and our son, Reece, is 11."

My email address is