TBCA Hall of Fame Welcomes A UWA Staff Member Aboard
Gary Rundles, University of West Alabama baseball head coach, has another achievement to add to his resume after being inducted into the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Rundles accepted this milestone achievement in Franklin, Tenn., amongst many other coaches during his attendance at the ceremonies held during the annual TBCA Coaches Clinic.
From the clinic Rundles noted he was greatly pleased with, “… being able to have my family there. My wife and our three children, as well as my mother and father-in-law were all present. In addition, I was able to see several former players who are now coaches, as well as many colleagues … I coached against while at Chattanooga Central High School and at Carson-Newman College (now, University). It was good to reconnect with folks I had not seen since coming to Livingston 13 and a half years ago.”
In regards to the acceptance of the award Rundles stated in an email interview, “It is always an honor to be recognized by one’s peers. I was extremely humbled to even be considered for this honor. Lots of men are and have been coaches of the game of baseball … To have been chosen from such a large pool of good coaches is quite an honor.”
“This is a great honor and I am very humbled by the fact my peers believed I was deserving,” Rundles stated as a statement of gratitude and appreciation for the nomination.
This by far was not the first prestigious award Rundles had received in his coaching career. He began his rewarding journey on the baseball diamond in 1977 at Chattanooga (Tenn.) Central High School the school in his hometown. During his tenure there he obtained a coach’s dream of winning more than you lose resulting in a record of 171-72 on his coaching resume.
In 1985 Rundles departed for Carson-Newman, his alma mater, where he worked his way up the coaching hierarchy. In 1999, Rundles earned Conference, Region, and TBCA Coach of the Year honors and in this year he and the Eagles birth their way into the Division II College World Series and two years later to the NAIA World Series and received Conference Coach of the Year on six different affairs.
Rundles left Carson-Newman and carried his great success and experience on the baseball diamond with him to The University of West Alabama. Rundles begin to work immediately and begin to gain recognition throughout the southeast for his great coaching ability and the results that were shown throughout his student athletes.
The Tigers experienced many Gulf South Conference Baseball Tournament births and have set many school records at UWA. Most notable in the year of 2008 the Red and White Tigers of UWA under the guidance of Rundle set a GSC and school record with 17 Tigers being named to All- GSC, All- American or All- Region teams alike.
When asked what does this award mean to him and how it ranks amongst the others he wrote, “Some of the other awards have been regional in nature … but to have been honored for my lifetime of work in the game of baseball in a statewide honor is really a big deal.”
As Rundles enters his 15th season as head coach of the UWA Tigers he wrote, “We are looking forward to having folks come support our players next weekend. We have some talented players who have been working very hard to get ready for the season. I’m excited to see us compete.” The Red and White Tigers will slide into their season on Feb. 1 at 1 p.m. as they host Columbus (GA.) State in a two game series.