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Marty Hunter has proven his ability to win at the high school level. Now, the 45-year-old baseball coach gets a chance to test his skills at the college level.

Hunter, a 1980 graduate of Gresham High School, was named manager of the baseball program at George Fox University last month. He replaces long-time Bruins' coach Pat Bailey, who accepted a position as an assistant coach at Oregon State.

'It's an exciting opportunity,' Hunter said. 'We have some great kids coming back. I'm in a position where I just want to keep things going - there's already a great foundation here.'

He helped build some of that groundwork, spending the last five seasons as an assistant at George Fox, including the Bruins run to the NCAA Division III national title in 2004. Hunter's focus has been on the infielders during that span, helping the Bruins set a Division III record for fielding percentage (.979) two seasons ago.

'I believe in pitching and playing good defense. We want to make other people earn whatever they get,' Hunter said. 'We'll be scrappy on offense and put pressure on teams in a smart way.'

Hunter compiled a 200-103 (.660) record over 12 high school seasons spent at Bend and Canby. He reached the playoffs in each of his eight seasons at Canby, winning three league titles along the way.

'I've been fortunate in my high school situations to have kids that were very dedicated to the sport,' he said.

George Fox is a common destination for baseball players from East County, and Hunter hopes that his Gresham background will keep that recruiting trail open - next year's roster features Gresham graduate Kyle Seymour and Reynolds graduate Trevor Winsor.

'I have good relationships with a lot of coaches in the area, so it's easy for kids to know about our program,' Hunter said. 'My expectations for success are high enough already. We just have to go do our thing and take care of business.'

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