Preece takes over as head softball coach

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Preece takes over as head softball coach

Gary Preece met the softball players and parents tonight at GRC.

Gary Preece met the softball players and parents tonight at GRC.

Smoke Signals photo

Gary Preece met the softball players and parents tonight at GRC.

Smoke Signals photo

Smoke Signals photo

Gary Preece met the softball players and parents tonight at GRC.

Smoke Signals Staff

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Gary Preece hasn’t yet had a chance to learn much about the team he is taking over as the new GRC softball coach, but he already has a head start – his favorite color is red.

The former Tates Creek softball head man with 30 years of coaching experience met the players and parents tonight at GRC.

“I am a coach by title, but I look at myself as an instructor and motivator,” Preece said by email. “The mind and body are powerful things and we will get the best out of our student athletes. I want to build a family atmosphere for GRC softball.”

Preece says his years of coaching across different age levels and different sports prepares him uniquely for the job.

His impressive resumé includes 11 years of coaching youth travel softball, and 16 years of softball coaching experience, the last five at Tates Creek High School. While there, he compiled an overall record of 111-64 in a tough 11th Region, and had eight players sign to play college softball.

“I started coaching softball when my daughter was 9 years old,” explains Preece. “I fell in love with the game right away. Later my daughter graduated from college and helped me coach high school softball my first two seasons. Her passion for softball inspired me to coach and help teach others the game.”

Preece says he can’t wait to get started. “I think they are hungry to make some noise in the 10th Region,” he says. “I am excited about this opportunity and ready to roll. We just have to work hard, be persistent, encourage, and have patience as they grow.”

A Johnson County native, Preece grew up playing multiple sports and received a college scholarship to play basketball, a sport he coached for 22 years before transitioning to only softball.

He earned a BS degree in health information management from St. Louis University and has spent 23 years as the director of Health Information Management and the privacy officer for Shriners Hospitals for Children. He and his wife, Vikki, a registered nurse, live in Versailles. Their daughter teaches in Jessamine County and their son is a senior at UK.

As for fun personal details, Preece calls himself a “diehard” Washington Redskins, Milwaukee Bucks and St. Louis Cardinals fan, but most important, his favorite color is red. “So that,” he says, “makes me perfect for this job.”

“Sports careers are short and hopefully as coaches we can help prepare our student athletes for life after sports,” Preece says. “I assure GRC fans that no team will outwork us and our goals are district and regional c-ships.”