DAPHNE, Ala. – Bryan College head baseball coach Clint McAuley said his United States Sports Academy education was “relevant, convenient, and practical” and helped him advance his career in the coaching profession.
McAuley, who earned his Master of Sports Science degree in sports management from the Academy in 2006, recently was named head baseball coach at Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn., after spending the previous seven seasons as associate head coach. The Bryan Lions compete in the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC), part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
“I have always recommended the Academy to young coaches looking to get their online degree in sports,” McAuley said. “It’s the most relevant, convenient, and practical master’s degree you can have as a coach.
“I knew about the Academy because I graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech and (Texas Tech head football coach) Mike Leach was an Academy alumnus, so I was all in,” McAuley said.
“The more I learned about the United States Sports Academy, it was a perfect fit because I knew I needed my master’s degree in order to move up in the profession and one day get a head coaching job.
“The best thing about a graduate degree from the Academy is that all the classes you take are relevant to your profession. This is certainly not true of every master’s program or even most degrees in general. I can say that every class I took at the Academy was interesting and relevant for my current profession.”
Prior to his promotion to head baseball coach, McAuley spent seven years as an assistant at Bryan, working with the Lions’ pitching staff and coordinating the team’s recruiting efforts.
A native of Winnsboro, Texas, McAuley has helped the Lions see tremendous success on the diamond. The team has averaged 38 wins per season during his tenure there and has been perennially ranked in the NAIA top 25. Under his supervision of the mound, McAuley has had numerous pitchers break program records, including the first Bryan pitcher in program history to be named to the All-AAC First Team. Since then, Bryan has had several more players earn conference honors.
“It has been a privilege to get to work for a college I love and respect,” McAuley said. “There have been other positions available to me in the past that I have turned down due to my desire to remain at Bryan. I love the people I work with, the administration, and the players here.
“It’s a terrific environment. Since I played baseball in college, coaching has given me the opportunity to build into the lives of young men in a way that either, I was built into, or wish I was. It’s easy to miss our purpose as coaches when we get caught up in winning but I believe that I am in this position to help college men develop in all aspects of their lives, not just baseball.”
McAuley spent the first eight years of his career coaching at five different schools. He said each job along the way – and his Academy education – added to the knowledge that helped him earn the head coaching job at Bryan.
“I would have told you after my second year of coaching that I was ready to run my own program, but when I look back at the coach I was at the time, I am thankful I didn’t get that opportunity then,” he said.
“The thing I’ve learned the most from my experiences is that I always want to be growing and even changing as a coach. I can’t imagine anyone being the same person they were 10 years ago and being satisfied with that. I would be disappointed and ashamed if a senior left the same player and man he was as a freshman. If I expect him to grow, I need to show growth myself.
“Another thing I felt I’ve learned throughout my coaching career is that I don’t have all the answers but I do want to know them. I encourage my players to always be asking questions and taking ownership in their development.”
The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports.
The Academy is based in Daphne, Ala. For more information, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.