Tuesday, March 15, 2016

2013 | Monumental Year for Gary McClure

Gary McClure
Long-standing former head coach for the Austin Peay State University Governors baseball team Gary McClure has seen a lot of good years in his three decades on the field. But, the diamond never sparkled so bright as in 2013. In the following Q&A, Gary McClure reminisces about his “three-PEAYt” year.

Q: What is a “three-peat?"

Gary McClure: Or as I like to call it – a three-PEAYT! It is when a team wins a division championship three times consecutively.

Q: Like the Governors in 2013?

Gary McClure: Exactly!

Q: And that’s a pretty tough accomplishment to pull off, isn’t it?

Gary McClure: It is, and something very special.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Gary McClure Recalls 2013 Mid-Major Hot Board

Gary McClure
2013 was a memorable year for Gary McClure. Not only did the Governors win their third consecutive OVC Conference, but the veteran coach was inducted into the University’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Here, McClure touches on a few notable teams and players in the world of college baseball from what many would argue was McClure’s best year.

Florida Gulf Coast

In 2013, Florida Gulf Coast was often in the spotlight for its basketball program. However, according to Gary McClure, it was the FGCU baseball team that shone the brightest. By mid-season, Brooks Beisner was hitting an outstanding .360. Pitcher Harrison Cooney caught a good bit of attention, pulling off four saves in less than half a dozen appearances.

Mercer

Gary McClure has always respected Mercer but says their 2013 win against Georgia Tech is really stood out to him. The 10-1 final score was achieved in no small part by the pair of home runs courtesy of Travis Benn. They have been an excellent program for many years now and one that no one takes lightly.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Gary McClure Recounts Son’s Unique Relationship with Vanderbilt University

Gary McClure As a former college baseball coach, Gary McClure says there is something special about seeing his son Alex play baseball. In 2009, the McClures faced off against each other when Alex stepped in as SS for the Vanderbilt University Commodores, his dad donning the bright red uniform of the APSU Governors. It was a memorable experience for both, and for unique reasons. Here, Gary McClure explains why.

Q: Alex began attending Vanderbilt as a sophomore. Why was his transfer to the Nashville-based university significant to your family?

Gary McClure: I credit Vanderbilt for essentially saving my son’s life and setting him on a path that he would be able to get healthy and remain healthy for the remainder of his playing days and hopefully the rest of his life. When he was 15, Alex was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. Alex and i were actually in Marietta Georgia where he was playing in the WWBA Championship at East Cobbs Complex. He had been extremely sick and had no energy and he wasn’t showing any signs of improvement. I took him to a local after hours clinic one night that happened to be just down the street from our hotel. When the Dr. checked him out, i found out he had a blood glucose level of over 600 – meaning he could have slipped into a diabetic coma at any time. They were able to stabilize him and In that moment, I knew I had to get him to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville immediately where he would get the best care and his mother could also meet us. Immediately we hit the road and i was told to do two things. Don’t let him fall asleep and get him there as quick as possible. That was one time in my life that i didn’t worry about speeding at all.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

APSU Govs Former Head Coach Gary McClure Explains 2013 Change of Heart

Gary McClure
The APSU baseball team was relieved when head coach Gary McClure withdrew his name from consideration to coach for the University of Iowa.

When Austin Peay State University baseball coach Gary McClure withdrew his name from a 2013 consideration as head coach for his home state University of Iowa, the sudden change of heart prompted speculation. McClure explains it was a personal choice, believing at the time there was more to accomplish on the Clarksville, Tennessee, college campus. A smart choice considering McClure was coming off his third straight Ohio Valley Conference Championship and third consecutive trip to the NCAA Regional. His club had just finished the year with an Austin Peay and OVC record breaking season for wins finishing 47-15. He had also just received news that he was going to be honored by being inducted into the Austin Peay Athletic Hall of Fame.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Gary McClure on Inspiring a Winning Team

Gary McClure
Former head coach Gary McClure says it was never hard to inspire his team, the Austin Peay State University Governors, to play, but the 2013 team was even less of a challenge.

2013 was an outstanding year for APSU baseball, recalls retired head coach Gary McClure. That year’s team, he says, was not difficult to inspire at all. Many of the players were entering their third year together and had gotten to know each other really well. This group had been part of a freshman-heavy team that started things off right with an astounding and unexpected Ohio Valley Conference regular season championship, a conference tournament championship, and an NCAA Regional first round win over number one seeded Georgia Tech who hosted the regional. After that, the team never really lost steam. Gary McClure says he had over half a dozen freshmen start in 2011, and by 2013 they played as one tight, cohesive unit.

By the time the team got to Bloomington, there was no doubt in the mind of Gary McClure that they would continue to perform. McClure recalls that his pep talks that year were really more about reminding them they were a good team with experience and about the need to have a day in and day out business like approach and to not let your guard down. He told them they needed to respect the game of baseball and the game would be good to them. McClure says his 2013 coaching strategy was focused more than anything on helping these young men perfect the abilities he knew they already possessed, let them have fun, and play the game..