February 11, 2011

Former Tech coach David Mays inducted into TBCA Hall of Fame

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -  Former Tennessee Tech coach David Mays, a member of both the Tennessee Tech Sports Hall of Fame and OVC Hall of Fame, recently added a third honor when he was inducted into the Tennessee Baseball Coach's Association (TBCA) Hall of Fame.

Mays was one of three coaches inducted during the organization's annual meetings in Nashville. He was joined in the recognition by a former assistant coach, Tommy Pharr, who served as Golden Eagle pitching coach in the 80s. Pharr is currently head coach at Christian Academy of Knoxville.

Pat Swallows, co-founder and Executive Director of TBCA, introduced Mays to the gathering at the induction.

“Coach Mays led the TTU baseball program in a first class manner through a quarter of a century, coming through some difficult and demanding times, and his team enjoyed many highlights,” said Mark Wilson, TTU Director of Athletics.

“The team’s amazing work ethic was a reflection of his passion for success, on the field, in the classroom and in life,” Wilson added.

In addition to all the victories, honors and awards that came from success on the field, there was one other ingredient that set David’s teams apart -- his student-athletes earned their degrees. In his 25 seasons as head coach, he saw nearly every single player accept his diploma and take his experiences as a student-athlete into a successful and rewarding life after baseball.

The support for the baseball program that Mays cultivated during his career as head coach included numerous major renovations, construction and improvement to the baseball facilities at Tech. Those included a new team clubhouse, stadium lights, new outfield fences, a new field irrigation system, and the installation of a press box.

After a successful high school coaching career Mays took over the Tech baseball program in 1974, guiding the Golden Eagles through the 1998 season. In those 25 seasons Mays compiled 554 victories, which ranks as the fourth most in OVC history. He owns more coaching wins in head-to-head competition than any other coach in Golden Eagle history.

Mays coached three All-Americans, six all-region selections, three OVC Players of the Year, one OVC Pitcher of the Year and 59 student-athletes who earned All-OVC distinction. His players also performed well in the classroom, as Mays coached three Academic All-Americans and three OVC Scholar-Athletes. Five of his players went on to earn induction into the Tennessee Tech Hall of Fame.

Mays himself was inducted into the TTU Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.

Mays was named OVC Coach of the Year in 1986, 1988, 1993, 1996 and 1997 and led the Golden Eagles to a 39-23 record and OVC regular season and tournament championship in 1997, along with a victory over Ohio State in the NCAA Regional. In 1997 he was inducted into the East Tennessee baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Mays was a four-year letterman at Carson-Newman College where he was a starter on the 1965 NAIA national championship team and captained the squad a year later.

Photos from the Induction Dinner:

 Tommy Pharr and David Mays

David and Charley Mays

David (center) surrounded by family