McPeeks calling it quits with Heroes careers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2007

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — McPeek and McPeek has been dissolved.

No, it’s not a law firm or business that has closed up shop. It’s the departure of Huntington Heroes head coach Garry McPeek and offensive lineman Nate McPeek, both of whom announced they would not return next season.

“It was probably my last game,” Nate McPeek said. “I have some coaching jobs. I want to focus on my coaching career.”

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Nate McPeek was a Mid-American Conference first team selection at Marshall and signed a free agent contract with Green Bay before being released, partly because of back and knee problems.

After coaching at Boyd County (Ky.) High School, the lure of playing again was too much to suppress.

“I enjoyed myself. We had a great season, but we didn’t win the championship we wanted,” Nate said.

“God blessed me with the ability and health to play until I am 25. A lot of players don’t get that chance to play that long or longer.”

Coach McPeek said Nate was an important reason the team was 10-5 and qualified for the postseason.

Nate McPeek was also a key to an offensive line that gave up the fewest number of quarterback sacks in the American Indoor Football Association.

“With that experience of playing and coaching, you find a window where you get it mentally, and then physically your body hangs on as long as it can and then you get that mesh,” said coach McPeek.

“He was playing because it’s the hometown. It was the Huntington crowd and it was the Marshall crowd and he was having fun. He meant the world to our offensive line.”

The Heroes were 19-11 in two seasons and qualified for the postseason each year. It marked the first time a professional team from Huntington made the playoffs in any sport.

However, being hired as the Fairview (Ky.) High School principal means Garry McPeek will have to give up his job as the Heroes head coach.

However, he doesn’t plan to retire completely.

“I’ll be coaching again somewhere. I’ll help out here when I can or maybe I’ll coach in Lexington,” coach McPeek said. “As an assistant, I don’t have to go to all the games. I’ll be able to miss if I have a conflict at school.”

McPeek is pushing for assistant coach T.J. Maynard to become the new head coach.

“We’ll take a month off and get back at it and talk about what to do,” McPeek said.