Brunson named softball coach at Mt. Pleasant

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 | 5:48 PM

Chris Brunson becoming the next softball coach at Mt. Pleasant almost seemed like a natural progression.

Brunson felt that notion, and also believed it would be the right move for all parties involved.

“I asked a few of the parents and my own kid what they wanted and they wanted me to apply,” Brunson said.

His daughter, Haylie, is a sophomore outfielder for the Vikings and a Louisiana-Lafayette recruit.

“I didn’t know if I would get it or not,” Chris Brunson said. “The program has had a ton of success, and I’m sure the board had numerous applicants. I coach because I like to see the positive influence you can have on young people’s lives. I am thankful to the Mt. Pleasant School District that they are trusting me to do that at home.”

Brunson was hired Monday by a 9-0 vote. He replaces Lauren Armanious, who resigned after five seasons, leaving the program in a promising state.

The team went 66-30 under Armanious and won a WPIAL Class 3A championship in 2016 and a PIAA 4A title in 2017.

Brunson, 40, has plenty of travel softball coaching experience and most recently was an assistant at Southmoreland, which won the WPIAL Class 3A title last season.

Brunson said he initially had planned to take the head coaching job at Albert Gallatin before shifting gears. Brunson coached the Mt. Pleasant middle school team two years ago, and had Vikings returning ace pitcher Carolyn Alincic on his local travel team.

Brunson was an assistant baseball coach at Cal (Pa.) for 14 years; he worked with pitchers. After graduating from Hempfield, he played baseball at Westmoreland County Community College and Cal.

He coached various travel softball teams since he has three daughters that play the game.

His job, now, is to keep the bar raised at Mt. Pleasant. The Vikings again return several talented players.

“Mt. Pleasant has a long tradition of being highly competitive in softball,” Brunson said. “Coach Lauren and those kids took the program to an even higher level. There is a lot of talent on the current roster and some kids in the pipeline for people to get excited about. I believe as a coach you have to set the goal as high as you can. You have to talk about it at practice and get the kids to believe in it. If you put in the work then you have a chance.”

Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at [email protected] or via Twitter @BillBeckner.


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