Occupation: Director of Sports Information at Maryville College
Family: Married to Bonnie Etchison. They have a 15-year old daughter, DeAnna, who is a sophomore at Maryville High School.
Eric Etchison graduated from Maryville College with a degree in physical education in 1988. He earned his master’s degree in sports administration. He returned to work at the college as a coach in 1991. Etchison retired from coaching following his 14th season as the head baseball coach for the Scots in 2006. During his tenure, MC posted a 57 percent winning percentage and 280 victories with every school record being re-established. Coach Etchison was named Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association’s 1997 Division II and III Coach of the Year.
Etchison says he relishes his role as director of sports information. “This is an extension of my personality. I get to be the No. 1 sports fan for Maryville College and interact with the public and promote our 350 student athletes on a daily basis.”
Etchison enjoys the different aspects of Maryville College life. “It’s a nice mixture of academics, athletics and community that makes you want to know about Maryville College,” he says. “We’re not a strictly academic institution, and we’re not a sports factory, but we have a nice mix that the community can enjoy.”
Etchison says the college and the Blount County community took him in, and he has made this area home. Now he says he tries to shine the spotlight on student athletes and get them attention in the community. “I want to give them as much publicity as I can and what they deserve.”
Here is Eric Etchison:
Who are you most like, your mother or your father and why?
“I am most like my father, Tom. I emulate his attention to details and seem to always find the good in others.”
What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?
Movie: Bull Durham. Character: Crash Davis
“Relax, all right? Don’t try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they’re fascist. Throw some groundballs -- it’s more democratic.”
How do you like your steak cooked?
“I used to like it well-done, but my wife has converted me to medium. It is amazing the difference in flavor and the lack of need of A1 sauce.”
What are you guilty of?
“Not taking care of myself. I need to take time for more exercise and watch my diet.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“I am proud to be a homeowner, but I am not big on “things.” I do have a baseball collection of milestones of my playing and coaching days.”
What are you reading currently?
“I am always trying to learn to advance our Sports Information audience. I am reading an Adobe InDesign user manual and learning the technical side of web casting as we start the new Scots Broadcasting network this fall.”
Who has been the most influential person in the 20th Century?
“Negative Influence….Marvin Miller and Donald Fehr, the heads of the baseball players’ association. They took our American pastime and shamed it with salaries that no person is worth and enabled players to cheat the game during the steroid era.”
If you only had a week to live, what would you do?
“I would contact and thank all those who helped shape my life. I am a product of their love. I would spend as much time with my family as possible and pray they will be taken care of once I am gone.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“Patient. I believe that everything happens for a reason.”
What is your passion?
“I love baseball, and I love spending time with my family. I am very fortunate to have a wife and daughter who share this passion. We love to go to games at any level. Cherokee Baseball also allows me to share this passion for teaching life lessons through the sport during my spare time. I am very appreciative that I can share this passion with the next generation.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“Pete Rose. I admired the way he played the game. I would like to tell him personally how his actions let me down. Thurman Munson, I admired his leadership as a captain for the Yankees in the 1970s.”
If a movie were made about your life, who would play you and why?
“I’m a fan of Kevin Costner’s work in Bull Durham and For the Love of the Game. His background and passion for the game of baseball would show through his work.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“This is easy -- 1975-1976 to see The Big Red Machine. I am a huge Cincinnati Reds fan and can name the starting lineups from each team. I used to play whiffle ball for hours being the Reds. I would like more than a week if possible.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“There are two: Treat others the way you want to be treated, and If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“I wish I had more Bible knowledge. With more knowledge and understanding, I would gain the confidence and ability to witness His word.”
Who is your hero?
“In looking at the qualities of a hero that include sacrifice, determination, courage, dedication, selfless and fortitude only one person came to mind. I see this daily in how my wife, Bonnie, leads her life and family. She lives for the development of others as a teacher, a mother and a wife. She has battled Multiple Sclerosis for years now and the only time I see her frustration is during her nightly shots. She is special, and I am proud of everything she does.”
Are you a cat person or a dog person?
“I have a 13 year old Dachshund dog named Lil’Bit.”
What’s the worst job you have ever had?
“Cooking sausage, pepper and onions for eight hours a day at the Canfield Fair in Ohio.”