Loretto’s Lamm headed for state coaches’ Hall of Fame

By Maurice Patton

Four longtime high school coaches, including Loretto’s Gary Lamm, and two-time national championship coach Tim Corbin comprise the 2020 Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame class.

The five will be inducted at a Jan. 16 ceremony as part of the TBCA annual convention, which will take place at the Cool Springs Marriott in Franklin.

Joining Corbin – who led Vanderbilt to the 2014 and ’19 NCAA Division I titles – and Lamm will be Grace Christian’s Brad Myers, Friendship Christian’s John McNeal and current Knoxville Grace assistant Dwight Smith.

“It’s a great group of coaches that has had an impact on baseball in Tennessee and the lives of hundreds of kids,” said Pat Swallows, executive director of the TBCA, in announcing the class.

Over 41 seasons – the last 26 at Loretto, prior to his retirement earlier this year – Lamm posted a 552-425 record. He led the Mustangs to four state tournament appearances, including a Class A state championship in 2017 and a runner-up finish the following year, along with four sectional titles, four region championships and seven district titles.

Gary Lamm (left), who led Loretto to the 2017 Class A state championship and a state runner-up finish in 2018, will be inducted into the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame during a January ceremony. (Photos by Kyle Johnson)

“It was quite a shock when I got the news last week,” said Lamm, whose three sons all followed him into the family business; Luke currently coaches at Huntsville (Ala.) High School, with Paul winning a Class AA state title at Spring Hill in 2016 and Mark pitching at Vanderbilt and in the Atlanta Braves organization.

“My first thought was that there are a lot of people a lot more deserving of me. A lot of people go into (such an honor).”

Myers won a state championship at Battle Ground Academy prior to taking over the program at GCA. In 27 years, his teams claimed 12 regular-season championships and nine regional titles along with a pair of state runner-up finishes. Since moving to Grace, his teams won three district and two region championships while making a Final Four appearance.

McNeal, who also coaches the football team at Friendship, owns a 745-291 record on the diamond over 36 years, the last 30 with the Commanders. His teams have won three state titles in eight state tourney appearances, along with a runner-up finish. McNeal has made 19 sub-state/sectional appearances, winning 18 region championships and 26 district titles.

Smith, a baseball veteran of 55 years in some capacity, has most recently served as an assistant at Knoxville Grace after previous tenures as an assistant at Christian Academy of Knoxville and Powell and as head coach at Karns, where the field is named in his honor. Smith helped establish the Knoxville Stars summer league program, and also umpired summer ball for 15 years. He was previously inducted into the East Tennessee Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1998.

Maurice Patton is the editor for Southern Middle Tennessee Sports. E-mail: mopattonsports@gmail.com; Twitter: @mopatton_sports.

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