By CHRIS HOBBS
MAIDEN – Doug McRee — whose teams at Bandys High averaged nearly 16 wins per season for 16 years — is getting back into baseball as head coach at Maiden, his alma mater.
Maiden athletic director Caine Houser, in a press release on Tuesday, announced McRee as the Blue Devils’ new head baseball coach. He replaces David Williams, who left to become head baseball coach at A.C. Reynolds.
Williams also coached Maiden’s varsity girls’ basketball team, a position that will be filled this coming season by Frank Snider.
McRee, a 1984 graduate of Maiden and also a graduate of Montreat-Anderson Junior College and Catawba College, has been a teacher and coach in Catawba County for 30 years. He serves as Catawba County Driver’s Education coordinator at Maiden.
His career in education has been spent at Bandys and Maiden and at Tuttle Middle School. He started in 1988, coaching football and baseball at Tuttle Middle School (his baseball team went 12-0).
A year later, McRee began coaching football and baseball at Bandys, guiding the Trojans’ junior varsity baseball team to a 13-0 record and a Southern District 7 2A title.
McRee then coached varsity football and baseball at Bandys, taking over the baseball program from the late Jerry Copas after the 1990 season. McRee’s first team went 11-10 and was one of only three he coached at Bandys that did not reach the postseason.
McRee’s baseball teams had 14 winning seasons, went .500 in 1998 and had one losing season (8-15 in 1999). Bandys went 249-134 under McRee, whose teams won eight conference or conference tournament titles. His last seven Trojans teams earned state playoff bids and went 116-62.
McRee was named a conference baseball coach of the year in 1992, 1993 and 2003 and Region VII Coach of the Year by the North Carolina Baseball Coaches Association (NCBCA) in 1993.
McRee coached in the State Games in 1994-96 and helped create East Catawba Post 509 in American Legion baseball in 1994.
From 2009-11, McRee coached at Maiden Middle School, leading a county championship baseball team (14-2) in 2011.
He was an assistant baseball coach on two Blue Devils teams that won conference tournament titles.
Maiden finished 5-17 overall last season and 4-10 in the South Fork 2A to end up in seventh place. The Blue Devils and eighth-place Newton-Conover did not reach the South Fork 2A tournament.
Williams coached Maiden for five seasons — replacing Dusty Ellis in 2013 — with his teams going 72-70.