FORMER BASEBALL COACH ROY MEWBOURNE HONORED AT RETIREMENT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Several former players, Vanderbilt administrators,
staff, family and friends joined at Hawkins Field Monday evening
to celebrate the career and friendship of former Commodore
baseball coach Roy Mewbourne. The 24-year skipper of Vanderbilt
baseball, who announced his retirement from the sport following
the 2002 season, finished his tenure as the winningest coach
in school history and was instrumental in the push toward
and fundraising for the $5.6 million Hawkins Field completed
prior to last season.
Mewbourne was presented with several gifts, including new
golf clubs from the athletic department, a mural of Hawkins
Field from Vanderbilt Director of Major Gifts Chris Wyrick
and Executive Director of the National Commodore Club Blanton
Jones, and $20,000 toward a new car from Tommy Powell and
Robert Harris on behalf of his former players.
"This is one of those days we want to celebrate at Vanderbilt,"
Vanderbilt Chancellor Gordon Gee said. "We celebrate not only
the greatness of the institution but the great impact one
individual has made over the past 24 years. Any coach who
has enjoyed the success you have and the tenacity you've shown
owns the ability to lead and inspire people."
"Since I came here six years ago Roy always had a plan for
a new stadium," Director of Athletics Todd Turner said. "A
few years ago we only only had bleachers that held 600 people
and a chain-link fence for a backstop. But thanks to the generous
donations of some people here today and Roy Mewbourne's persistence
and continuing efforts we now have one of the finest baseball
facilities in the nation that will serve the program for years
As Mewbourne took the podium following the presentations
he was greeted with a standing ovation from the crowd of well
wishers. "It's tremendous to have everyone here this evening,"
"It' s been a great run and a delightful experience. The
people here at Vanderbilt are tremendous. You've got to be
in the athletic department to know how great they are.
"I've had a lot of great players over the years who were
persistent and showed great spirit and great fight. We've
also had a lot of outstanding assistant coaches who made an
impact in the program. What we accomplished here was a total
team effort. We had a dream. We fought for a new stadium.
And I'm proud it happened."
Mewbourne jokingly added, "If I could do it all over again
I would - with a field."
Mewbourne finished his career with a 655-608-9 mark at Vanderbilt
and a 30-year record of 922-683-9. This past season he became
only the 35th coach in college baseball history to surpass
the 900-win plateau. His 1980 squad captured the Southeastern
Conference championship. During his Vanderbilt tenure he coached
58 players who later signed professional baseball contracts.
Nineteen of his players garnered All-SEC accolades while 10
were named All-Americans. Academically, 111 of his players
were named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.