SOCIAL IMPACT

Neosho’s Steve Murry a master with his Twitter account

Neosho coach Steve Murry has the Panthers to a 48-14 record.



Steve Murry has the perfect personality for social media.

He can be profound, throwing out coaching axioms with the best of them.

But the Neosho County (Kan.)  Community College baseball coach is just irreverent enough to keep you in stitches with his 140 characters on Twitter.

When he started tweeting, though, it wasn’t just for fun and games. Murry sees a benefit from being heavily invested in social media.

“I think it means, honestly, national exposure,” he said. “There’s people in North Dakota, South Dakota that now know who the heck Neosho County is.

“I’ve actually had five visitors that just stopped by practice from out of state just to introduce themselves, which is kinda creepy.”

People who follow him on Twitter send him messages of good luck before games, so he knows they’re visiting Neosho’s website to see the Panthers’ schedule.

When Neosho qualified for the 2012 JUCO World Series, Murry had about 800 followers on Twitter. At the end of last month, that had jumped to nearly 3,500.

“It grows leaps and bounds,” he said.

Among his recent coaching messages:

    ■  “If you are deciding to do something or not—be ALL IN or ALL OUT.”

    ■  “It may NEVER be easy—but it will ALWAYS be worth it.”

    ■ “This is the last weekend of the warm up season. The real season starts next weekend #PLAYOFFS”

The athletic department has a Twitter account (@goneosho) to update followers on all sports at the Chanute, Kan., school.

The baseball team has its own, and made a splash last summer during JUCO with its #tweetsfromthedugout on the 
@NC_Baseball Twitter account.

“Some of our parents absolutely love that,” Murry said. “At home, we have live stats, a live camera (on the website) and Twitter. On the road, nobody has wifi, so we tweet from the phone all our live stuff.”

Those tweets by a trainer or a redshirt pitcher are basic — each play of the game, no commentary. A simple “Christie strikes out last batter to end the game. Panthers win 8-3.”

Murry said he gets so many messages on Twitter, he rarely has time to check his own timeline to see what others are saying.

“I literally have 400 a day, people asking questions or retweeting,” he said. “The time I’m on the computer, I rarely have time to look at what other people said unless it’s said directly to me.”

He replies to those direct messages, and they’ve evolved into phone conversations with other coaches on fundraising.

“It’s a heck of a recruiting tool and a heck of a networking tool with other coaches,” he said. “I’ve spoken fundraisers to multiple people due to Twitter.

“When they see our field they wonder how you get something like that. I tell them it’s all fundraising and all of a sudden they want to talk fundraising.”

And when he’s not talking fundraising or handing out coaching tips, he’ll offer up a recipe or two, like his chocolate-covered bacon.

“It’s wonderful, I swear,” he said of the simple concoction. He fries the bacon, melts chocolate chips and pours that over the bacon. Pop it into the fridge to harden the chocolate and enjoy.

“I post a ton of stuff I cook, and I’m a fairly good cook, on Facebook. People will tell me, ‘Wow, you were right.’ ‘’

He has fun with the social media, but knows he’s also getting something out of it for his program. Somewhere out there, there’s a potential Panther following him.

“It’s turned into a coaching resource, a coaching tool to a national media recruiting tool,” he said, “to giving advice to young coaches and advice to young players.”


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