Heard some sad news today, first from Cindy Bristow on Facebook and then later confirmed by the NFCA. Mary Nutter, an NFCA Hall of Famer and the creator of the National Sports Clinics, has passed away.
Anyone who ever went to the NSC knows who Mary was. She was a quite a character and a force to be reckoned with. She ran her clinics with an iron fist (and about as much passion as anyone could muster).
It was always amusing to see Mary when one session was scheduled to end and another to begin. She didn't care if you were a D3 assistant coach, a former player or the head coach of the National Team. When it was time to get off, she'd cut you off and keep things moving.
That being said, Mary was always looking out for her attendees. Inevitably there will be mix-ups or things missed when human beings are involved. But Mary made sure her people were trained to handle them quickly. And quite frankly, if you could catch her in the hallway she was a blast to speak with.
I attended many National Sports Clinics sessions here in the Chicago area, and much of what I know today I learned there. Mary always brought in the most interesting speakers and had the most interesting topics. Yet even in a large lecture format, where there might be 600 people in a hotel ballroom, you never felt remote. Because Mary always encouraged the speakers to hang out in the hallways and talk to people individually. If it was good enough for Mary herself, it was good enough for the presenters.
Hopefully the National Sports Clinics will continue to bring great softball information to new generations of coaches. But they'll never quite be the same.
Mary Nutter, thanks so much for all you gave all of us. I think we can say you're now safe at home.
Do you have any memories about meeting, talking to or seeing Mary Nutter? Add them in the comments section!