Auburn's Clint Myers talks of his extended softball family at his Hall of Fame induction on Friday night
By Charles Goldberg
ATLANTA — It was a night to talk about his greatest accomplishments, his greatest loves.
So on the night he was recognized for a career of sporting accomplishments, Clint Myers talked about his greatest passion.
"The greatest moments in my life have been with my family," said the Auburn coach, who was inducted into softball's Hall of Fame at the National Fastpitch Coaches Association annual convention on Friday night.
Myers, who has won multiple national titles in softball, and one in baseball, too, received two standing ovations, talked passionately about coaching with his sons Corey and Casey, and mixed in some good some humor in a heartfelt speech.
"I have a lot of stories," he warned. "I'm old."
He thanked his many assistants, his many players from 40 years of coaching.
"If you play for me, you enter our family. And for those who know me, my family is the most important part of my life," he said.
He didn't want the spotlight, but here he was in banquet of a thousand.
"I'm not one who likes a lot of hype. It's always been about the kids," Myers said before he began his speech, delivered with perfection without a single note.
His introduction talked of his coaching legacy, reinforced with video testimonials. It spoke of winning more than 1,000 games, and the 98 wins he recorded in just two years as Auburn's coach.
"When you get Clint Myers, you get the whole family," said Auburn Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs.
"To my Auburn family," Myers said, "you gave me an opportunity to coach with both my sons. That was my dream. Thank you for allowing this old man's dream to come true. I have a passion to go to work with a smile on my face every day to do something I love."
Myers is heading into his third year as Auburn's head coach, but what he has done in the sport is legendary. He was one of three inducted into the association's Hall of Fame on Friday night. It shouldn't come as a surprise. He was inducted into National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Arizona Softball Foundation Hall of Fame in 2001.
He's won as a softball coach, including two NCAA titles at Arizona State and six more national championships as a junior college coach. He's won a junior college baseball national title, too. National coach of the year? A trophy case of those honors.
Friday was his night on another big stage, with many members of his family that have migrated to Auburn since he arrived, including his two sons on his coaching staff. He looked over the room: "Grandparents, grandkids, sons and their families.
He found a moment to talk of his career.
"This is my 40th year," he said, "and I've coached over 1,000 kids and I've coached in over 3,000 games."
He was a junior college World Series champ in softball and baseball. A two-time World Series champion at Arizona State. He took Auburn to its first-ever World Series appearance last season.
"To have what we have received at Auburn, with the administration, with the players, with the fans, has been truly amazing," Myers said. "I can't say enough about the people. They've really opened up their arms and embraced the team and my family. People say, 'what's the best thing that describes Auburn?' That's easy. It's the people."
Katelyn Boyd, who was an All-American shortstop and later a graduate assistant coach with Myers at Arizona State, said she's not surprised that Myers talks of family. She made sure she was on hand Friday night.
"I can speak for every girl who has played for him. If they could be here, they'd be here," she said.
Why? They're all family, Boyd said. "He's very family oriented, and in any sport, that factors right in with life. There are so many life lessons. He brings the whole package: Discipline, commitment. You have to have that with the family, with the sport, with the school, raising kids, your job. He's all encompassing. I could go on and on and on."
Clint Myers, who is more comfortable in his Auburn cap, wishes she wouldn't. But on this night, there were many handshakes and congratulations.
"I'm overwhelmed," Myers said.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine