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.

Q: So as I recall, 2013 was your 6th Trip to the NCAA Regionals?

Gary McClure: It was, we also went into the regional as a number 2 seed and ranked nationally. It was the first year we may have made it into the Regional without winning our conference tournament.

Q: What was the team’s RPI for the season?

Gary McClure: We finished with an RPI of 28, and winning 19 of our last 20 games.

Q: Why do you think the team played so well that year?

Gary McClure: We definitely had talent, but as important we had great chemistry and knew we were going to win.

Q: But the season wasn’t without its losses, was it?

Gary McClure: We had a bad luck streak for sure. At one point, we lost 7 of 8 games. We also had to overcome some major injuries on the mound, but we found a way to do that.

Q: How’d that happen?

Gary McClure: I think we lost some intensity through that stretch. We let our guard down and thought we could just show up! That was a good lesson learned, but fortunately we were able to right the ship!

Q: Explain…

Gary McClure: This explains why intensity and having a day in and day out business like approach is so important. is so important.

Q: With disastrous results!

Gary McClure: Yes. But they turned that nonchalant attitude around!

Q: Tell us about winning the Conference and qualifying for the Atlanta Regional...

Gary McClure: That was interesting since we did it with a high percentage of incoming freshmen and sophomores. We just became better and better as the year went on.

Q: But that group grew well together?

Gary McClure: They were a solid team. They grew mentally and physically all throughout the season. They made some great adjustments and really developed great chemistry..

Q: It’s not often that a group so young starts their careers with an OVC Championship?

Gary McClure: True. They were able to learn from each other and make a quick transition to this level. This does not happen very often. They were a special group of young men.

Q: What was significant about 2013 for you?

Gary McClure: Well it started with my induction into the Austin Peay’s Athletic Hall of Fame. However, it only got better when the spring season got here and we went on a historical run for our program and great ride for me as a coach.

Q: You also became the OVC’s all-time winningest coach that year!

Gary McClure: That was definitely another honor.

Q: You started (head) coaching for the Govs in 1988. Do you feel like 2013 was the seed of your labors all those years?

Gary McClure: Of course! How could one not? The Govs were at the top of their game and I felt like a proud father watching a first born son take his first steps. The program was the result of decades of hard work; it was definitely a year for the books.