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Out of the line up and into the classroom

North Penn's Mr. Bob McCreary has followed up his baseball playing career with 2 decades in the classroom.

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Out of the line up and into the classroom

Mr. Bob McCreary teaching sociology and psychology in E023 at North Penn for the past 20 years.

Mr. Bob McCreary teaching sociology and psychology in E023 at North Penn for the past 20 years.

Brandi Marlin

Mr. Bob McCreary teaching sociology and psychology in E023 at North Penn for the past 20 years.

Brandi Marlin

Brandi Marlin

Mr. Bob McCreary teaching sociology and psychology in E023 at North Penn for the past 20 years.

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TOWAMENCIN- Many teachers at North Penn High School have had amazing paths that led them to where they are today, and everyday in E-pod students can find a teacher with an athletic past like no other. Bob McCreary, who teaches Sociology and AP Psychology here at North Penn, has played baseball his whole life and has baseball in his family’s history.

Submitted Photo
Mr. Bob McCreary in the minor leagues next to his Grandfather, Hal Kelleher, who pitched for the Phillies.

“My grandfather pitched for the Phillies in the 1930s and my father was a college baseball player and coach for both high school and college,” shared McCreary.

As a result of this history, McCreary has had incredible coaching from a young age that propelled him to his achievements: playing in the Minor Leagues at the AA level, being inducted into the Villanova Athletic Hall of Fame, and creating his website baseballbytheyard.com. These accomplishments are what baseball players dream of as kids.

“It was a dream come true. I had always heard the stories from my grandfather about playing professional baseball and my father had a chance to play with a lot of major league players when he was in the army. I guess some people may think it is arrogance, but I just had it in my head that I was going to play professional league baseball and there was no other option. It was a tremendous and great experience.” said McCreary.

It was a dream come true. I had always heard the stories from my grandfather about playing professional baseball and my father had a chance to play with a lot of major league players when he was in the army. I guess some people may think it is arrogance, but I just had it in my head that I was going to play professional league baseball and there was no other option. It was a tremendous and great experience.”

— Mr. McCreary

McCreary played for the Villanova baseball team from 1986 to 1989; he had 207 hits, 121 runs batted in, 23 stolen bases, 39 doubles, and won Rookie of the Year in 1986. From these and many more outstanding achievements, he was inducted into the Villanova Athletic Hall of Fame. Other members of the Hall of Fame include Brian Westbrook (a former Eagles Running Back) and Randy Foye (in the NBA).

“It makes you think, ‘oh gosh I am in that discussion’, and apart of me is like ‘I don’t know if I belong in that discussion’ when I see some of the people that are up there. It is really humbling to have people think you are on that level,” explains McCreary.

While playing baseball, McCreary earned his teaching credentials, so after he stopped playing baseball he could move right into teaching and coaching. Ninth grade was what he taught first at Penndale when he arrived in the North Penn School District, but after being hired as the high school baseball coach, McCreary moved to teach at the North Penn High School.

McCreary explained coming into the program “was great because I was able to really create an entire program, not literally from scratch, but I was able to say ‘Okay what do I want this program to look like now and in the future’ and design it from the ground up.”

The baseball program at North Penn flourished after McCreary began coaching in 1999. The biggest accomplishments include a district title in 2005 (which was the first since 1984) and won a state championship in 2009. In 2011, McCreary retired from coaching the Knights to spend more time with family and run his website baseballbytheyard.com. This website has been an amazing hit across the country, helping hundreds of coaches with the game.

“I realized early on that I was very fortunate to have very high-level baseball people at a young age. I was learning things at age eight that some college kids aren’t learning. That is because of my Grandpa and my dad, so when I got done playing I thought that I could really be of help to people that weren’t as fortunate as I was with coaching. I felt bad for charging for it so this is my way to give back to the game and give back to kids, and hopefully, provide information so that anyone can learn it,” disclosed McCreary.

Baseball gave to McCreary and now McCreary is giving back to baseball. Kids throughout the nation are now learning the tips and tricks that McCreary learned from his Grandfather and Father. Now the advice is being passed down to McCreary’s children in the activities they do.

“I would like nothing more to go watch their activities and watch them play soccer. I like being a fan. It is why I got out of coaching at North Penn, I wanted to go watch their activities. My father, even though he was very busy, always came to all my games and I wanted to do that as well.” said McCreary.

McCreary’s life has been full of achievements that seem to be never ending and with this comes someone who can give great advice. Through everything he has experienced, McCreary has a piece of advice for all students.

“All their futures are up to them. There are going to be roadblocks in everybody’s life, but in the end, it is your decisions that determine how far you go. There is always a way out and a way to improve, so never stop looking for another way. You are in charge of your own destiny.”

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