Hank Morgan of the Peninsula Pilots Named 2016 CPL Coach of the Year

Updated August 23 2016

The Coastal Plain League announced Peninsula Pilots coach Hank Morgan (photo courtesy of Ralph Wood) as the league’s 2016 Coach of the Year after guiding the Pilots to their third East Division Championship in the last four seasons.

“We are excited to honor Hank as our 2016 Coach of the Year,” said CPL COO/Commissioner Justin Sellers. “The Peninsula Pilots team had a great summer on the field and broke several franchise and league records. This award recognizes the commitment, dedication, and hard work put in by Hank; as well as his players and coaches.”

Now the league’s all-time winningest coach, Morgan took over as the Pilots head coach with 10 games left in the 2007 season and led the Pilots to the Petitt Cup Championship game as the number four seed before falling to Thomasville 4-3. Under his leadership, the Pilots won the championship in back-to-back seasons across the 2013-2014 summers.

After failing to make the Petitt Cup Championship Series last year, Morgan led his team to First and Second Half Division Titles during the 2016 regular season to enter the Petitt Cup Playoffs as the number one overall seed with a 38-17 record. From here Morgan and the Pilots won both of their first and second round match-ups to punch yet another trip to the Petitt Cup Championship Series in which they eventually fell two games to one to the Savannah Bananas.

Despite the loss, Morgan exemplified excellence throughout the season helping produce seven Coastal Plain League All-Stars: Franco Guardascione (Jacksonville), Darien Carpenter (Virginia Commonwealth), Cole Austin (West Virginia), Kurt Sinnen (Old Dominion), Kyle McPherson (Virginia Military) Will Shepherd (Liberty) and Devin Hemmerick (Norfolk State.)

Morgan also coached his team to the highest batting average in league history (tied with 2016 Savannah Bananas) at .303 while setting all-time marks in runs scored (414) and hits (563) as well. While no all-time records were broken on the mound, the Pilots were still dominant in 2016 leading the league in earned run average at 3.40.

In addition to his duties as head coach, Morgan also serves as the Pilots Vice-President and has been working for the organization for 15 seasons in many different capacities. Helping Morgan throughout this season were his assistant coaches Chris Oschenfeld, David Mitchell, Matt Mitchell, Corey Brownsten, Mike Moore and Wes McGuire.

The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 20th season in 2016, the CPL features 16 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had nearly 1,300 alumni drafted and 90 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, like us on Facebook at Coastal Plain Leagye and follow us via Twitter and Instagram @CPLBaseball.


Shelby Hilliard