Gary McClure is the field coach for the Battle Creek Bombers, a Northwoods League NCAA baseball team. The Bombers were established in Battle Creek, MI in 2007 and by 2011 the team had increased its fan base by 124%. McClure is a valuable asset to the Battle Creek, MI team and brings a wealth of experience both on and off the field.
When the Austin Peay Governors head coach Billy Merkel retired in 1987, the team needed a strong replacement. Gary McClure, the team’s graduate assistant, was cautiously selected as interim head coach by the school’s Athletics Director Bob Brooks. After an astounding first interim season, Gary McClure proved his abilities on the field and was elevated to head coach. Gary McClure led the team out of their two-season last place Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) position, finishing the 1988 season 23-27 and followed that with a 32-25 season in 1989 and second place finish in the conference tournament, one win from the opportunity to represent the (OVC) in the NCAA Regionals.
During his 27 years at Austin Peay, Gary McClure pushed his teams in both athletics and academics, often coaching 4.0 student athletes. McClure has coached three “OVC Player of the Year” recipients, nine “OVC Pitchers of the Year,” and turned out 50 plus All-OVC first team players. He had 64 players move on to professional baseball, with five former players reaching the Major Leagues, Gary McClure’s coaching abilities are undoubtedly some of the best in college baseball history.
Gary McClure has done more than churn out the state’s best players. He’s garnered an impressive reputation as an award-winning leader, having racked up 847 career wins – more than any other OVC coach. In recognition of his many achievements, Gary McClure was inducted into the exclusive Austin Peay State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013. This type of coaching professional was exactly what Bombers GM Tony Iovieno wanted for his rising Battle Creek, MI baseball team.
Before achieving his dream of coaching college ball in Clarksville, TN and later Battle Creek, MI, Gary McClure was the #1 (1986) Shortstop in the Dallas Amateur Baseball Association. His son, Alex, stepped into his father’s cleats, playing professionally for both the Florida Marlins and the Kansas City Royals. Alex has been an assistant coach at Arkansas State and the university of Memphis, but has recently taken a job in Major League Baseball with the Chicago Cubs. Gary McClure claims that watching his son mature, first as a professional player and now as a coach, has been the highlight of his life.
Currently residing in Battle Creek, MI, Gary McClure enjoys traveling to attend his son’s games and predicting the games next superstars.
Fans are excited to see what exciting achievements Gary McClure will help unlock for the Battle Creek Bombers.