Amherst Magazine

From Eckley to Thurston to... ?

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By Roger M. Williams '56

Given Amherst’s now-outsized expectations of baseball success, choosing a successor to Bill Thurston will presumably be an exacting process. The college has opted for an interim coach next year; that will be Brian Hamm, an assistant to Thurston since 2005. It would be a huge surprise if the eventual applicant pool were anything but very large and very distinguished. Who wouldn’t like to follow “the dean of college baseball coaches,” as Paul Eckley was known, and a guy with who’s won almost two-thirds of his games and made Amherst a name throughout much of the baseball-playing world? Whoever it is can hope for an early gift from Thurston: a big instructional manual complete with Thurstonesque terminology. And he’d be smart to know the contents cold by the time he arrives on campus.

Photo by Samuel Masinter '04