Gary McClure serves the Battle Creek, MI baseball community as the field coach for the Battle Creek Bombers. He comes to Battle Creek, MI by way of an illustrious career as the head coach of Clarksville, TN-based Austin Peay Governors baseball team.
For nearly 30 years, Gary McClure led the Austin Peay State University Governors baseball team to many victories and championships. Appointed by Bob Brooks in 1987 as the interim head coach, Gary McClure made a promise to himself that he would be the best coach the school had ever seen and that he would build the program into one that would compete for championships on a regular basis. He kept that promise.
In his first season, Gary McClure coached the team to more wins than the previous two seasons combined. By 1993, McClure had begun efforts to upgrade the team’s home field – Raymond C. Hand Park. The upgrades paid off as the Governors continued to set fire to the field as they attracted a higher quality of talent, leading to more wins, which led to more fans in the seats. Gary McClure continues to show this type of off-field dedication to the players, fans, and coaching staff of the Battle Creek, MI team.
McClure won his first conference championship with his 1994 team. In 1996, Gary McClure introduced Austin Peay to its first NCAA Regional qualifying baseball team – a feat he would repeat many times over during his tenure in the school’s athletic department. By 2012, the Governors had cemented their reputation as a force to be reckoned with, winning the OVC regular-season title in the Championship Round against Eastern Illinois. That spring boarded the Governors to win their way to their first ever regional final game against Oregon. McClure also was able to reach 777 career wins during that season, with that he surpassed legendary Murray State Coach Johnny Reagan to become the Ohio Valley Conference all time wins leader. He would end his career with a total of 847. McClure’s outstanding record held the attention of Bombers General Manager Tony Iovieno for many years prior to his appointment with the Battle Creek, MI baseball team.
Today, Gary McClure stands tall as the winningest coach in the OVC. He has held his players to very high standards both on the field and in the classroom throughout his career. His players graduate, and they have consistently earned very good grades while doing so – a feat of which Gary McClure is quite proud.
Gary McClure was a college baseball standout himself, capturing the 1986 #1 Shortstop title from the Dallas Amateur Baseball Association. The Iowa native completed his eligibility at Tennessee’s Cumberland University before joining the Govs in 1987 as a student assistant. Gary McClure completed Austin Peay’s graduate program in 1987 with a degree in Health and Human Performance.
Gary McClure currently resides in Battle Creek, MI. Baseball runs deep in the family as his son Alex – a former player for the Royals and Marlins, was an assistant coach at Arkansas State and the University of Memphis until recently becoming a major league baseball scout for the Chicago Cubs.