Sad news: Mary Nutter passes away

Heard some sad news today, first from Cindy Bristow on Facebook and then later confirmed by the NFCA. Mary Nutter, an NFCA Hall of Famer and the creator of the National Sports Clinics, has passed away.

Anyone who ever went to the NSC knows who Mary was. She was a quite a character and a force to be reckoned with. She ran her clinics with an iron fist (and about as much passion as anyone could muster).

It was always amusing to see Mary when one session was scheduled to end and another to begin. She didn’t care if you were a D3 assistant coach, a former player or the head coach of the National Team. When it was time to get off, she’d cut you off and keep things moving.

That being said, Mary was always looking out for her attendees. Inevitably there will be mix-ups or things missed when human beings are involved. But Mary made sure her people were trained to handle them quickly. And quite frankly, if you could catch her in the hallway she was a blast to speak with.

I attended many National Sports Clinics sessions here in the Chicago area, and much of what I know today I learned there. Mary always brought in the most interesting speakers and had the most interesting topics. Yet even in a large lecture format, where there might be 600 people in a hotel ballroom, you never felt remote. Because Mary always encouraged the speakers to hang out in the hallways and talk to people individually. If it was good enough for Mary herself, it was good enough for the presenters.

Hopefully the National Sports Clinics will continue to bring great softball information to new generations of coaches. But they’ll never quite be the same.

Mary Nutter, thanks so much for all you gave all of us. I think we can say you’re now safe at home.

Do you have any memories about meeting, talking to or seeing Mary Nutter? Add them in the comments section!

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About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on July 26, 2012, in General Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Steve Nichols

    What a great tribute, Ken! Choked me up … Thank you. I so looked forward to both her Chicago clinics every year. The memories that stand out are her willingness to help in any way, talking to me like I was her best friend, and the terrific way in which she ran her clinics. I’m really going to miss her.

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  2. I was fortunate to be 45 minutes from Mary and get to spend time with her talking softball (and buying league equipment) She was truly a great ambassador for softball and will be greatly missed.The NCClinics must go on as they are a great service and one of Marys many legacies left for this great game.

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  3. I’m sure the clinics will go on. That will be Mary’s legacy. But they won’t be the same, that’s for sure.

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