Butch Hughes Death | Obituary – Butch Hughes age 79 sadly passed away, Hughes coached at Merced College for 10 seasons, compiling a 307-73 record, leading the Blue Devils to seven state championships, including five titles in a row from 1976-80.
Hughes went on to coach for several Major League Baseball organizations, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, Colorado Rockies, Oakland A’s and Milwaukee Brewers.
“When you think of Butch Hughes, he was kind of a legend around here,” said current Merced College baseball coach Nate Devine. “Obviously him and Chris (Pedretti) were the base of the program for so long.”
Hughes passed away after a battle with Multiple Myeloma.
Hughes was a baseball lifer. He moved to Merced in 1971 when he was named the Merced College baseball coach. He taught in the health and physical education department at Merced College for 34 years.
Prior to coming to Merced, Hughes was an All-American at Cerritos College and spent four years as Minor League pitcher.
“He put Merced College baseball on the map,” said former Merced College coach Chris Pedretti, who played for Hughes at MC in 1976 and 1977. “The seven state championships his teams won are unprecedented. The impact he had on baseball in Merced is enormous.”
Twenty Merced College baseball players signed professional contracts during Hughes’ tenure as the Blue Devils head coach. However, if you asked his players, he was just as proud of his players that become doctors, lawyers and contributing members in the community.
“He was very demanding,” Pedretti said. “Players respected him and respected his knowledge of the game. He got you to buy into what needed to be done. Butch would do anything for his guys after they were done playing for him. If they needed help, he would be the first one to take care of his players.”
Hughes coached just about every level of baseball in Merced. He returned from Major League dugouts to help out at Merced College as an assistant coach. He coached high school, including the freshman level at Merced High. He volunteered his time during the summer as an American Legion pitching coach.