JWCC hires softball coach with variety of college experience

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QUINCY — The depth of Chuck Gruber’s resume grabbed Brad Hoyt’s attention.

The veteran softball coach’s personality kept the John Wood Community College athletic director intrigued.

Hoyt announced Thursday he hired Gruber to become the Trail Blazers’ new softball coach. Gruber replaces Andy Gronewold, who resigned following the spring season.

“His personality is a great fit,” Hoyt said. “I think he’ll add a lot of value to the program.”

Gruber most recently served as an assistant coach at Stephens College, an NCAA Division III program in Columbia, Mo., and worked as a pitching coach in central Missouri. Gruber also has worked on the staffs at three NCAA Division I programs — the University of Louisiana-Monroe, Niagara University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

“Chuck has a wide range of experience,” Hoyt said. “He’s touched a lot of different programs and I think that’s super healthy for the state of our softball program. His experiences will bring a uniqueness to our girls’ experience.”

A graduate of Illinois College in Jacksonville, Gruber also has ties to Pike County, having worked in Barry.

“He wants to be in this area,” Hoyt said. “He wants to be here.”

He is familiar with JWCC as well, having built a relationship with the late Greg Wathen, the former Trail Blazers baseball coach.

“Part of his experience with John Wood was extremely positive because of his interaction with Greg,” Hoyt said.

The Trail Blazers went 11-29 in the spring and return six players who were freshmen.

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