Nate McCray’s activity in the sports world has run the gamut.
From semi-pro football player in Virginia, to sports agent for players in the CFL, NBA and FIBA along with scouting talent he has worn different hats.
Now he is trying his hand at coaching.
McCray has been named head coach of the Macomb County Bearcats of the Rivals Professional Football League along with defensive coordinator for Mount Clemens High School.
“I just want to be in a position to help my players as head coach of the Bearcats and also help develop the young kids at Mount Clemens High School,” said McCray, 43.
McCray served in the Navy and was stationed in Virginia. He eventually became a licensed agent and started Dynasty Sports Management after taking a tip from a college player.
While at Hampton University he ran across Michael Jenkins, a potential NFL player who sought his advice about leaving school early and declaring for the draft or staying for his senior season and risk injury.
“We talked and he said you should be an agent,” said McCray. “I really didn’t know what that entailed, so I looked into it.”
He found time and money were keys to getting into the business. He eventually landed Josh Pace, who formerly played for Syracuse and signed professionally in Australia and New Zealand last season.
While working for radio station 1400 (AM) in Detroit, he used his position as a credentialed media member to put together scouting reports for teams that came to Ford Field to face the Lions, concentrating on potential free agents.
“I didn’t receive any love from the Lions, but my reports did spark interest from Green Bay, Seattle, and Jacksonville,” said McCray.
While the reports didn’t land him a scouting job with any of the teams, he realized that coaching would broaden his resume. Anchor Bay and Waterford Mott contacted him about coaching positions before settling on Mount Clemens.
“Teams said I had too much of an NBA background, so I thought starting football at the grassroots level would be the best way to go and getting an opportunity to coach in the Rivals league and at the high school level would be a good start, he said.”
With the NFL draft fast approaching, McCray personally scouted Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon and admitted scouting isn’t an exact science.
“Scouting sometimes is hit or miss. A scout may think they found the one that is for the receiver position or quarterback position or defensive back, and they really haven’t effectively scouted that person the way they should have or they grade them too high or go off what they hear from the media. When they see that person it’s can he run fast and defend as a defensive back? Or can he catch if he’s a receiver and run the right routes? ”
He hailed Gordon as “one of the most explosive players in the Big Ten this season. Small in size, but has the vision to hit the holes and find the creases where he can break a long one. You may think that Melvin’s going to get three to five years then the next thing you know he’ s 70-yards up the field for a touchdown. He’s a quick, dynamic back. He’s not a big bruiser, but somebody who is a game-changer. With the right team and the right system he’ll be a good back at the NFL level.”