Terry Tuck is proud to call himself a baseball “lifer.” However, when it comes to his recent nomination to the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, the former longtime Plano Senior High coach was reticent to discuss such an honor.
However, after some convincing from his wife, Patti, he relented and agreed to an interview.
“Well, I’ve been appreciating her efforts for over 45 years of marriage,” Coach Tuck said of his wife. “That’s pretty cool.”
Born in Denver and the son of an Air Force colonel, Tuck attended three different high schools in four years, finishing his secondary education in San Antonio, where he played for a team that advanced to the Texas state finals.
“Dad was the pusher of sports and of doing things right from a military standpoint. [He said] if you’re going to do it, do it right and be the best you can possibly be,” Tuck said. “I guess that was a form of helping teach me how to help kids get better.”
After playing for St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, the Montreal Expos selected him in the 46th round of the 1969 MLB Amateur Draft.
Tuck played two seasons in the Expos organization, spending 1969 in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League and 1970 in the Single-A Florida State League before hanging up his spikes and ending his playing days.
At Plano, he served as an assistant coach for two seasons under Rommie Maxey before being promoted to head coach in 1977 after Maxey departed.
Tuck spent 23 seasons coaching the Plano Wildcats before embarking on a collegiate career that has taken him to University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas; University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, Texas; and Richland College in Dallas and University of Texas at Dallas (UTD).
He even gained some international experience, assisting the Perth Heat of the Australian Baseball League during a trip Down Under to visit one of his sons, who resides there.
But being recognized for his long tenure with the Wildcats is something he takes great pride in but is simultaneously humbled by.
“It’s absolutely a big honor,” Tuck said. “I never would have thought somebody would have thrown my name into the hat, and they did. I did not throw a single pitch. I didn’t pop up with the bases loaded. It’s really a huge compliment, not only to me but to all the players and parents involved.”
Now in his second stint at UTD, where he serves as pitching coach, Tuck is grateful to remain active in the game he loves in his 48th year as a coach.
“We were doing the college thing and my son goes, ‘How many games have you coached?’ Between over 600 high school games and 900 college games, I’ve done over 1,500 games,” he said. “It’s been a lot of fun and the coaches I’ve worked with have made it enjoyable. It all works together.”
Shane Shewmake is the only head coach UTD baseball has had since he started the program in 2002. And he considers it a blessing to have had Coach Tuck assisting him for most of his time leading the Comets.
“With his experience and knowledge of the game, Coach Tuck has been a great addition,” Shewmake said. “Coach Tuck’s teaching ability and communication skills have been invaluable in the development of our players.”
“Working with Coach Tuck has made me a better coach as well. I’m able to ask him questions about practice plans or game situations and with his vast experience, he’s able to give me suggestions that I might not have thought of before.”