In 2013, Gary McClure and the Austin Peay State University Governors made the headlines when they won their third consecutive OVC Championship. McClure was also spotlighted as the newest member of the school’s athletic Hall of Fame. But according to McClure, those accomplishments came on the heels of youthful arrogance and bad luck.
According to Gary McClure, the Govs started strong in 2013, winning all but five of their first 30 games. Then, as is often the case with young minds accustomed to victory, some players seemed to have put on blinders. The team lost seven of their next eight games, with some of his best players making careless mistakes. Gary McClure says it took the sting of losses to snap them back into shape.
Gary McClure recalls that after the streak of “bad luck,” the Govs pushed themselves a little harder. That burst of competitiveness paid off, especially for the 2011 freshmen who played their third OVC Championship season in 2013. Players like Hankins and Hudson, Blanchard, Harper, and Torres, and Rogers were really able to showcase their talents and the experience of being a part of past championship teams only bolstered their confidence.
A blended family
The 2013 Govs, says Gary McClure, more or less grew up together. However, he cites a few incoming transfers like then-juniors Lee Ridenhour and Craig Massoni as valuable additions to the group. Junior College Transfers are normally brought in when you have a need for immediate impact at a particular position. They come in with a couple of years experience under their belt.
The 2013 Govs were awarded with a trip to Bloomington and a heated game against SEC power Florida. The Govs were named 2nd seed in 2013, showcasing McClure’s program and the undeniable recognition they deserved.