5 Questions with Coach34- this week: former Bulldog Outfielder Tracy Echols


At MaroonandWhitenation we are starting a weekly series titled “5 Questions with Coach34” to catch up with members from the Bulldog family- today, we debut with Tracy Echols, who played baseball at State from 1986-1990.

1. You were a pretty good RB in HS- any thoughts of playing football in college or were you baseball all the way?
I thought about it- even took football visits to State and USM. But those visits helped me realize I was too small and might end up being a tackling dummy for 4 years or would have had to move to DB. I realized my limits and decided to go with the little white ball.

2. Your father, Lamont, was one of Mississippi’s top HS baseball coaches for the last 40 years- very intense, in-your-face coaching style. What was it like going from playing for him to playing for Coach Poik?
Night and day- My dad had a very intense coaching style- things were only done one way- HIS…Coach Polk was more pragmatic- did more behind the scenes. He was very calm and we would go over things he wanted to talk about in his office. He didnt yell or anything out on the field. Polar opposite from my Dad. Coach Mac was pretty intense though and handled that type role for us though. I remember Coach Polk had gotten kicked out of a game vs Tennessee we badly needed to win to make the Tourney- Coach Mac took over and really starting yelling and pumping us up. I was fortunate enough to hit a HR to win the game- Coach Mac practically tackled me at home plate- great memory and loved the intensity Coach Mac brought to the team

3. You had some great years as a player in maroon and white- was playing in the CWS the ultimate? Yes it was- no doubt. But my biggest regret was the 1989 team not making it. I still think that was the best team Miss State has ever had. Losing to North Carolina in that last game to a guy throwing 75 mph was so frustrating….Making the CWS In 1990 was great though- we faced Mike Mussina who obviously went on to bigger and better things…We were given all kinds of gifts from all the bat companies in Omaha to wear and use- 1st time feeling like a bigtime ballplayer. Finishing 5th was disappointing- but really wasnt a bad showing at all. 1990 was great, but 1989 will always be so disappointing because that team could have won a title.

4. Growing up, you were known to be one of the top baseball players in the Jackson Metro area- how exciting has it been to watch your son Casey go thru some of the same things?
It’s been very fulfilling. It seemed like there was more exposure back then as opposed to now from the newspapers and local TV. They dont cover HS baseball like they used to. I’ve enjoyed seeing him work and develop, and finally seeing his light turning on- just makes me so proud. He has hit around .400 all season for Brandon HS. He is more of a contact, line-drive hitter than I was- but strikes out a little less, which is good. He’s also bigger than me at 6’4, 190. I’m looking forward to seeing him play in college next year.

5. Today’s SEC series are Friday-Sat-Sun…you played the Sat DH’ers and Sun….as a player, which would you have preferred? Sat DH’ers – there is nothing like Dudy-Noble field for a Saturday DH’er…from a fan and player standpoint- how could you not want to play the doubleheaders? I can see the coaches point of view as far as managing their pitching staffs- but I really think the Friday-Saturday-Sunday format hurts college baseball.