Skyhawk Volleyball | Darrin McClure - Head Coach
Darrin McClure has served as head coach for the University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball program since 2008.
Having previously served as an assistant coach in 2005 and 2006 seasons, then guiding the program back to the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament for the first time in six seasons as interim head coach for the 2008 campaign, McClure was officially named the program’s sixth head coach on Jan. 13, 2009.
Last season, McClure’s Skyhawks won six of their first eight matches to tie their best eight-match start to a season in the program’s Division-I history. UT Martin won the CEFCU Classic hosted by Bradley University and also boasted the OVC Setter and Defensive Player of the Week for each of the first two weeks of the season. However, injuries hampered the Skyhawks throughout the season and UT Martin would finish the year with a 9-23 overall record with a 3-13 OVC mark.
McClure coached OVC All-Newcomer Madison Wessling in 2013. The freshman out of Louisville, Ky. became one of the team’s best offensive weapons down the stretch, tallying seven double-digit kill performances - all against OVC competition.
Despite playing the majority of 2012 with one upperclassman, the Skyhawks qualified for the OVC Tournament for the third time under McClure. UT Martin finished the season with a 10-21 overall record and 6-10 mark against OVC competition.
In 2012, McClure coached a pair of All-OVC selections in Kasey Elswick and Amanda Crask. Elswick earned All-OVC honors for the third time in her storied career, becoming just the third player in program history to achieve that feat. Crask picked up All-OVC newcomer accolades after a freshman season in which she handed out 884 assists and added 158 kills and 218 digs.
The 2012 season also marked the end of the career of one of UT Martin’s all-time greats in Elswick. An honorable mention All-American in 2011, Elswick became the first player in Skyhawk history to lead the team in digs in four straight seasons (505 as a freshman, 606 as a sophomore, NCAA single-season record 852 as a junior, 643 as a senior). A two-time OVC Defensive Player of the Year, she wrapped up her momentous career as the OVC’s all-time career digs leader (2,606).
McClure enjoyed tremendous success in 2011 - a season where he picked up the OVC Coach of the Year award after guiding a team that was picked 10th in the preseason polls to the league championship match. The Skyhawks won 19 matches and 12 league decisions, which were the most for the program since 2002 and was the program’s first winning season since 2006.
In 2010, McClure coached Lauren Montague, who graduated as one of the all-time greats in Skyhawk history. She became the seventh player to record 1,000 career kills and graduated as one of three players in program history to finish their career in the top-10 career lists in kills and digs.
McClure took the nation’s youngest team in his second season through the year with an 8-21 record. Included in that record was a five-set win over Indiana to open the Indiana Adidas Classic.
In his first season guiding the program on an interim basis, McClure was able to bring in a talented recruiting class that contributed from day one. That paired with a core group of returners helped him lead the Skyhawks to a 9-24 overall record but more impressively a 7-11 OVC mark. He also guided UT Martin back to the OVC Tournament, which hadn’t been done since the 2002 season.
While at UT Martin, McClure’s teams have given back to the community in a big way. The Skyhawks have raised more than $8,500 over five seasons in the fight against breast cancer and Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Prior to returning to his undergraduate alma mater 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, he guided USJ to a third-place showing in his first year at the helm.
Additionally, 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 he was a co-founder of in 2004.
McClure gained valuable playing experience prior to joining the UT Martin volleyball program. He played middle blocker and outside hitter for the Paducah Volleyball Club for five years from 1994-99 and guided them to a pair of tournament victories. He was also part of the Spike-It-Up Amateur Volleyball Tour that competed 2v2 competition throughout the Southeast and Midwest. He helped guide his Spike-It-Up team to its highest finish of third during a tour stop in Cincinnati, Ohio.
During the offseason, McClure has twice attended the Gold Medal Squared Coaching Camp, an elite coaching clinic conducted by former US Olympic team coach Carl McGowan and two-time Olympic gold medal winning coach Marv Dumphy. He and some of the top collegiate coaches in the nation worked with the Olympic pair to learn from their proven coaching and motivational techniques.
McClure is married to his wife Jennifer, who is also a graduate of UT Martin. The couple has one son, Miles.