OMAHA, NE (WMBF) - Finally, Gary Gilmore and Coastal Carolina are in the College World Series. But when the team's super regional sweep was completed last week, it's the players that were just happy to get their coach to Omaha.
"He's the best at what he does, and I think we all wanted it for him because of all the opportunities he's given us, and if it wasn't for him, none of us would be here," outfielder Anthony Marks explained.
The Chants will attest, Gilmore has brought a new work ethic and grind to the table for Coastal Carolina, and it's something that they have always looked up to.
"He just bleeds teal and loves Coastal baseball," Zach Remillard said. "He works harder than anyone I've ever met, and puts in the hours, and we just wanted to reward him and his hard work to get us here."
"He's one of the hardest working men I've ever met in my life," pitcher Alex Cunningham said. "He does everything for us, he goes to battle for you, and he just has so much respect for you, so we respect that about him."
This year, the nation has taken notice as well. With a College World Series appearance and a 49-16 record, Gilmore has been honored with the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Coach of the Year award.
"The emotions, I can't describe all of them to be honest with you," Gilmore said after being honored on Saturday. "The fact that so many people voted for a small mid-major guy to receive this award among all the great programs in the country, the great schools and everything else, it's unbelievable."
And once again, the players showed their utmost appreciation.
"The kids flipped out on the bus (upon hearing the news)," he said. "It was probably the most humbling moment in my life. I honestly think they were more excited than me, which is crazy."
With the fanfare of Omaha still ongoing, he now gets to enjoy the experience and take part in his lifelong dream.
Gary Gilmore and the Chants face Florida in the Game Four of the College World Series. First pitch is set for Sunday at 8:00 EST.