Dr. Patrick McGaha is in his 12th year as the head coach of the Harding baseball team. He has a 313-260 record in his first 11 seasons and has led the Bisons to seven conference tournament appearances and its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth.
He became the winningest baseball coach in program history in 2016 when his Bisons defeated St. Edward's 5-1 in the second game of the series.
In his time at Harding, McGaha's student-athletes have received 38 all-conference, six all-region, and two all-America honors. Additionally, McGaha's players have 48 academic all-conference, six CoSIDA Academic All-District and three CoSIDA Academic All-America awards. The 2016 team received the ABCA Team Academic Excellence Award.
In 2015, Harding's Jerry Moore Field received the ABCA College Field Maintenance Award for NCAA Division II.
In 2016, McGaha's Bisons reached their fourth straight Great American Conference Tournament. The 2015 team led NCAA Division II with a .977 fielding percentage. The 2014 team also posted impressive defensive numbers, setting a school record with 56 doubles plays turned.
In 2011, McGaha led Harding to its best season in program history. Harding set a school wins record with a 42-14 mark. The Bisons won their first Gulf South Conference West Division title and their first conference championship in baseball since 1984. Following the regular season, Harding received its first-ever at-large bid into the NCAA II Baseball Tournament. The Bisons won their first game at the national tournament and finished the season ranked 24th nationally.
McGaha won the 2011 GSC West Division Coach of the Year award.
In 2009, Harding recorded its fourth 30-win season and second under McGaha, going 32-25 and collecting its first GSC Tournament victory since 2002. At 12-9 in GSC West play, Harding also had its first winning season in conference action since going 14-9 in 2002.
In 2007, McGaha’s Bisons tied a school record with 34 wins. The squad finished 8-13 in Gulf South Conference West Division action and was in the playoff hunt until the final game of the season. McGaha’s top hurler, senior Justin Phillips, signed a professional contract with the Kansas City Royals following the season.
Prior to Harding
Prior to coming back to Harding, McGaha spent four seasons at College of the Ozarks, where McGaha revitalized the baseball program which went 11-39 prior to his arrival in 2002. In 2005, he directed the Bobcats to a school-record 37 victories, a championship in the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament, and a berth in the NAIA National Tournament. The championship and tournament appearance were both firsts for College of the Ozarks.
McGaha compiled a 119-95 record at Ozarks, achieving consecutive 30-win seasons for only the second time in school history.
Before his stay at Ozarks, McGaha spent one year at Pepperdine University. From 1993-97, he coached at Central Arkansas Christian in North Little Rock, Ark., winning a pair of state championships in 1994 and 1995.
McGaha lettered four seasons as an infielder on the Bison baseball squad under coaches Dick Johnson and Steve Smith.
McGaha earned his bachelor’s degree from Harding in Physical Education in December of 1991. He received his master’s degree in Education at Harding in 1995 and earned a Ph.D. in Sports Pedagogy from Florida State University in 2000.
McGaha is married to the former Sarah Folkerts, a 1993 Harding graduate. The couple has two sons, Connor and Ryan.