SCOOBA – Philadelphia native Austin McNair has been named head softball coach at East Mississippi Community College, as announced Thursday by EMCC Director of Athletics Dr. Randall Bradberry.
"I'm truly honored and blessed for this opportunity to be the head softball coach at East Mississippi Community College," McNair said. "I would like to sincerely thank (EMCC President) Dr. (Rick) Young and (EMCC AD) Dr. (Randall) Bradberry for this opportunity of a lifetime to be able to coach softball at the collegiate level and become a part of the EMCC family. This is a dream come true and I am forever grateful."
Having most recently spent the past two years at Pontotoc High School, McNair previously guided Philadelphia High School to the 2015 Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 3A state fast-pitch softball championship along with back-to-back state slow-pitch titles in 2014 and 2015.
"We're very excited that Austin has taken the reins of our softball program," Bradberry said. "I'm confident he will move us in the right direction with his proven ability to win and leadership skills."
While at Pontotoc as the district athletic director, McNair was a nominee for the MHSAA's Mississippi Athletic Administrators Association Class 4A-5A-6A Athletic Director of the Year honor. The Warriors claimed the Clarion Ledger's Class 4A MHSAA All-Sports Award during each of the past two seasons to extend their current streak to five consecutive years. On the softball field, McNair's 2017 Pontotoc fast-pitch squad went undefeated (10-0) in district play and 22-8 overall en route to claiming the District 2-4A championship and advancing to the Class 4A north state playoffs.
Previously, McNair built the Philadelphia softball program into one of the state's most dominant Class 3A programs. During his five-year stint serving as the school's head softball coach and district athletic director, he guided the Lady Tornadoes to a combined total of three state championships, four south state titles and six district crowns in softball. They were also state fast-pitch runners-up in 2016 and south state runners-up in 2013. McNair's career win-loss records at Philadelphia were 115-35 (.767) in fast-pitch and 100-34 (.746) in slow-pitch.
"I'm looking forward to getting on campus and working with our returning players and incoming freshmen," McNair added. "I'm going to hit the ground running to make the EMCC softball program a powerhouse within the MACJC year in and year out."
For his coaching success at Philadelphia, McNair was named the 2015 Mississippi Softball Coach of the Year by the National Federation of High Schools. That year, the Lady Tornadoes earned a No. 1 overall state ranking by the Clarion Ledger along with a Top 20 national ranking by MaxPreps. During his successful stint at PHS, McNair also served as the school's head cheerleading coach and taught science.
While compiling a career overall coaching record of 237-77 (.755) at Philadelphia and Pontotoc, McNair has coached 11 players who have gone on to compete at the collegiate level, including Southern Miss infielder Alyssa Davis and 10 junior college products. In addition, six of his former players collected Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) All-Star honors.
During his softball coaching career, McNair has served as a member and representative for the MAC's Class 1A-2A-3A All-Star Selection Committee for both fast-pitch and slow-pitch. Administratively for the past five years, he rated as the youngest athletic director within the Mississippi high school ranks. While serving as Pontotoc's athletic director, McNair supervised a staff of 54 coaches and managed all athletic funds and sporting events for the Warriors.
A product of Neshoba Central High School and East Central Community College, McNair earned his bachelor's degree in teaching and coaching from Mississippi State University in 2011. He is also currently pursuing his master's degree in educational leadership from Arkansas State University.
McNair is the son of Barry and Vikki McNair of Philadelphia. His dad played basketball at EMCC during the early-1980s. Coach McNair has a younger brother, Chase.