UTM tabs McClure as v'ball coach
Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2009 1:11 pm
“We are very pleased to have someone as enthusiastic and qualified as Darrin McClure officially join the Skyhawk family,” UT Martin Athletic Director Phil Dane said. “We had a lot of interest from a number of candidates but McClure’s commitment to our program and the success he had last season as an interim coach helped him stand out above the crowd.”
McClure, who was an assistant coach with the Skyhawk volleyball program from 2005-06, returned to UT Martin last season in an interim head coaching capacity. McClure started 2008 by inheriting the youngest team in the Ohio Valley Conference, but was still able to jump out of the gates quickly by winning the first two matches and claiming third place at the season opening Austin Peay Lady Govs Classic. He then helped guide the program through the remainder of a challenging non-conference schedule and then helped orchestrate a run through the OVC that earned the program its highest regular season finish in six years and a trip back to the postseason.
“I am very excited to be a part of this program and am ready to keep building on what we were able to put together last season,” McClure said. “The administration has provided a lot of support and put its support in me, so I’m eager to get into the gym and start spring workouts.”
McClure added, “Even though we graduated a great deal of talent from last year’s team, we have a very strong nucleus coming back. That group along with the recruiting class coming in this year has me very excited for next season and the future of our program.”
Prior to returning to UT Martin in a head coaching capacity, McClure was a history teacher at Martin Middle School. At the same time he also directed the volleyball program at the University School of Jackson and guided them through the rebuilding process after graduating a wealth of talent from their district championship squad. With a majority of freshmen and sophomores on the floor, McClure led USJ to a third-place showing in his first year at the helm.
McClure also coached the Jackson Juniors Club Team to a second-place finish in the region. The Jackson Juniors were formally known as the Gotcha Volleyball Club, which McClure was a cofounder of in 2004.
McClure gained valuable playing experience prior to joining the UT Martin volleyball program. He played or the Paducah Volleyball Club from 1994-99 and guided them to a pair of tournament victories. McClure was also part of the Spike-It-Up Amateur Volleyball Tour that competed in 2v2 competitions throughout the Southeast and Midwest. McClure helped guide his Spike-It-Up team to its highest finish of third during a tour stop in Cincinnati, Ohio.
A native of Clinton, Ky., McClure earned his bachelor’s degree from UT Martin in 2006 and is married to his wife Jennifer, who is also a graduate of UT Martin.