New baseball coach offers experience


Abel Flessner

After the retirement of Coach Phil McIntyre from baseball, the athletics community was very happy to bring in Coach Andy McClain, the former Lawrence Central baseball coach, and the coach of Brebeuf’s state runner-up team, and Norwell’s state championship team. 

McClain also has coached four professional baseball players, the latest being Josh Vanmeter of the Pittsburgh Pirates. McClain thrives in the coaching world through the acknowledgement that  the players and the game are the most important parts of coaching. 

McClain has high hopes for the team to make it out of sectionals for the first time in a number of years. One of the ways that the team will have success is if the players and the mostly new coaching staff will be able to share a mutual respect for each other. 

McClain focuses on a mutual respect between players and himself. 

“If I treat the players with kindness and respect, then I’m going to get that back. It’s a two way street” McClain said. McClain’s reputation as such a great coach has been built through the mutual respect he has built up with his players. 

Over time McClain has begun to understand what players want out of him. Through this he has been able to have a better connection with his players. 

“They want you to care about them, and if you care about them then they will care about you back. It’s a relationship,” McClain said. 

Everything isn’t easy when you are coaching a team of 14 through 18 year olds, but McClain has gone through many years of coaching without much trouble. However, when there is an issue McClain has a pretty good grip on how to handle it. 

“It’s not necessarily personal toward me, they’ve just got something else going on that they’re upset about. We all mess up and take things out on others,” McClain said. 

The important thing to recognize is that if you want the team to succeed, you have to fix the issues. 

“You’re going to have times when things don’t go the way you want to and you have to circle back and understand what happened, what went wrong and fix it,” McClain said. The importance of team chemistry, especially in a game like baseball where you have anywhere from three to six games a week is huge, and McClain has developed a great understanding of that, starting with his mentors as a kid. 

McClain was extremely close with his high school coach, Coach Tutterow. He then went back and was an assistant coach under Tutterow, and taught science with him. He also inducted Tutterow into the Hall of Fame, and served as a pallbearer at his funeral. McClain’s goal as a coach is to be just as good of a mentor as Tutterow was to him.

“I had a tremendous mentor and that’s why I got into coaching. If I can mean as much as he meant to me to one kid, then this is the job for me,” McClain said. 

The importance of Tutterow to McClain has helped him develop the relationships he wants to have with his athletes over time. 

“What a blessing it is to be called coach, dad is the only better thing. I shoot and model to be what my coaches meant to me,” McClain said.

McClain loves his job, and because of this, he is very good at it. The baseball community should be very excited about the future that we have in-store.