ABILENE, Texas – After a coaching career that’s spanned over two decades at McMurry, John Byington officially announced his resignation from the baseball program Wednesday.
Byington joined the program as an assistant coach in June of 1998 and has remained in Abilene ever since. After working under Coach Lee Driggers for nearly a decade, Byington assumed the reigns of head coach in 2009.
After completing his 14th season in 2022, Byington became the longest-tenured coach in program history.
“McMurry University has been a place of great growth, development and comfort for me,” said Byington. “I cannot adequately describe how much the University has molded me in a positive way into the man I am, just as many others have already been impacted positively by McMurry. I’m confident many, many more will have life-changing experiences in the future by this great University.
“From a baseball standpoint, it is time for the program to move forward with new leadership and for me to pursue different opportunities. Thanks to the many players, coaches, other McMurry employees through the years that I was blessed to know and the McMurry family at large who have contributed so much to me in my time at this institution. May God bless and favor McMurry in every way from this point forward.”
Byington finishes his career at McMurry with 260 wins and led the program to its largest turn-around in 2022 with a 15-win improvement. For those efforts, he and his staff were named the 2022 American Southwest Conference Co-Coaching Staff of the Year following a 24-18 record.
“We are grateful for Coach Byington and his 24 years of service to our scholar-athletes,” said Vice President of Student Affairs and Intercollegiate Athletics Sam Ferguson. “He brought tremendous character to our University and consistently modeled our University’s values. He impacted countless lives at McMurry, and we appreciated him very much for that fact. We wish nothing but blessings for him and his family.”
Over his time at McMurry, Byington has been part of three conference championships as an assistant in 2001, 2004 and 2008. As head coach, Byington led the program to a new regular season record for wins with 29 in 2015 and went on to finish 31-13 as an NCCAA Central Region semifinalist. The 31 wins rank only behind the 1998 team for most total wins in a season.
Byington, a former All-American at Texas A&M University and minor leaguer with the Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers, has helped develop many great players, including one National Player of the Year in Derek David and six ASC Player of the Year winners. He’s also worked with numerous all-conference, all-region and All-American selections.
McMurry has only had two head coaches since returning baseball to campus in 1996 – Driggers and Byington. The search for the program’s third head coach begins immediately.