MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Former Middle Tennessee All-American and Major League Baseball veteran Michael McKenry has joined the Blue Raider baseball program as director of player development, as announced by Head Coach Jim McGuire Friday.
The announcement came during the annual Groundhog Luncheon and on the heels of McKenry retiring from professional baseball after 12 years. McKenry had a stellar three-year career for the Blue Raiders from 2004-06 before being selected by Colorado in the seventh round of the 2006 MLB First-Year Player Draft in June, 2006. The Knoxville, Tenn., native was inducted into the Blue Raider Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.
“What a tremendous honor it is to be able to bring Michael McKenry on board,” Blue Raider Head Coach Jim McGuire said. “(McKenry) has been a fixture in Murfreesboro during the offseason since his playing career at Middle Tennessee, so he has been a frequent visitor to the clubhouse and such, but it is going to be great having him in this capacity within the program. You are talking about one of the all-time Blue Raider greats.”
McKenry retired from professional baseball after a 12-year career following the 2017 season. The hard-nosed catcher spent seven seasons in the Major Leagues and played in more MLB games than any other former Blue Raider with 311. Former Blue Raider pitcher Chuck Taylor appeared in 305 MLB games.
“After enjoying time in professional baseball, I’m looking forward to giving back to the Blue Raider baseball program in any way possible,” McKenry said. “I love Middle Tennessee and our baseball program so this is something I am really embracing.”
McKenry helped lead the Blue Raiders to the 2004 Sun Belt Conference championship and a 40-win season. He was a three-year starter and a dynamic defensive catcher that combined tremendous offensive skills to become of the best to ever play the position at Middle Tennessee.
McKenry is one of only three first-team All-Americans in program history. His 68 career RBI are still seventh on the all-time list at Middle Tennessee, while his .494 slugging percentage is tied for ninth. McKenry was named to the All-Sun Belt Conference team twice in his three seasons.