Gary Gilmore

Coach Gary Gilmore greets fans after the CCU Chanticleers won the national championship.

Gary Gilmore doesn't know what his future holds.
 
But Coastal Carolina's head baseball coach has never scared easily.
 
“I’ve always been a fighter,” Gilmore said Monday. “I’m going to do whatever I humanly possibly can to fight this, travel wherever I need to go to get whatever my body needs.”
 
On Saturday, the university announced that recent tests had revealed a large mass on Gilmore’s liver. Doctors believe the mass is cancerous, but they are running tests to gather more information.
 
Since the news broke, a swell of support for the 2016 National Coach of the Year has come from not just the CCU fanbase but the entire baseball community. 
 
“Please pray for Coach Gilmore as he goes through these series of tests,” said Michael Paez, a member of Coastal's 2016 national championship team, on Twitter Saturday night. “The impact he had on me on/off the field was of a father figure. I cannot thank him enough for me in the three years I was at Coastal.”
 
“The definition of a champion. Selfless and relentless in everything he does; can’t wait to see you win yet another battle. Love you coach,” junior outfielder Parker Chavers said on Twitter. 
 
Those are just two of the hundreds of messages that have been shared on social media from players past and present, as well as fans from around the baseball world. 
 
“When I see all of this, it just lifts me up,” Gilmore said. “I feel like I am in God’s hands and I am being lifted up to Him. I’m in a good place right now mentally.”
 
Gilmore is unsure of how the diagnosis will impact his time in the dugout this season, but he is grateful for the outpouring of kindness from friends, family and Coastal fans.
 
“It’s so humbling, it’s incredible,” Gilmore said. “I have had more texts and more phone calls from people regarding this than when we won the national championship back in 2016. I didn’t think that that was humanly possible. I am so blessed that I have so many people that love me and care for me.”
 
Gilmore is entering his 30th year as a head coach and his 25th year as the head coach of the Chanticleers. He has amassed a record of 1,216-604-4, with 963 of those wins coming at Coastal. The 1,216 wins put him at sixth among active NCAA head coaches. 
 
During his time at Coastal, Gilmore has helped turn his alma mater into a nationally recognized program, with three NCAA Super Regional appearances since 2007. Then there was 2016, when the Chants won the College World Series.
 
Coastal will be looking to defend its Sun Belt championship this year and win their second straight conference title and their third in the last four years.
 
The news about Gilmore comes with less than two weeks until the start of the 2020 season. Coastal Carolina will open the season on Feb. 14 against UNC-Greensboro.
 

Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236

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