Tag Archives: Blake Smart

Stephen Gaylor

Stephen Gaylor (14C), bottom right, shakes hands with Braves scout Brian Bridges after signing a free-agent contract with the team. Also pictured are Berry head baseball coach David Beasley, top left, and assistant Shane West (99C). Photo by student Lauren Neumann.

As Collin McHugh (09c) continues his strong debut season with the Houston Astros, another Berry baseball alumnus is beginning a major-league quest of his own. Stephen Gaylor (14C) signed a free-agent contract with the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 11 and immediately joined the team’s Orlando-based affiliate in the Gulf Coast League. While at Berry, the speedy center fielder was a two-time All-Southern Athletic Association selection who ended his career as the Vikings’ all-time leader in stolen bases (89). He is the 32nd Berry baseball player to play professionally. Full list.

Alumni are also making news in golf and soccer this summer. Former Berry assistant and NAIA All-American Blake Smart (04C, 06G) has been named head men’s golf coach at the University of Memphis. He previously served as an assistant at the University of Oklahoma and as head coach at Kennesaw State University. Mark Bloom (10C), meanwhile, twice has been named to Major League Soccer’s Team of the Week as a defender for Toronto FC.

 

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After three stellar seasons as the head women’s golf coach at Tulane University, former Berry All-American John Thomas Horton (99C) has accepted a new challenge as head coach of the first women’s golf team at Clemson University. J.T. (pictured) twice won Conference USA Coach of the Year honors at Tulane, where he resurrected a program that was halted after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005. During his tenure with the Green Wave, J.T. led his team to two conference championships, three NCAA regionals and two national tournaments. In each of his three seasons, he coached the Conference USA Player of the Year.

J.T. is one of a growing fraternity of Berry alumni who have found success as college golf coaches. Others include Brian Farrer (02C, 04G), head men’s and women’s coach at Berry; Todd Lawton (92C), head men’s and women’s coach at the University of South Carolina Upstate; Larry Mays (97C), head men’s coach at Georgia Southern University; Jim Owen (81C), director of men’s and women’s golf at Oglethorpe University; John Maupin (07C), head men’s and women’s coach at Lee University; Blake Smart (04C, 06G), assistant men’s coach at the University of Oklahoma; Jason DeJiacomo (07C), assistant men’s and women’s coach at Berry; Jayne Curtis-Maupin (10C), assistant women’s coach at Lee University; Nicole Wildes (06C), assistant women’s coach at the College of Coastal Georgia; and Damon Stancil (99C), volunteer assistant women’s coach at North Georgia College and State University.

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