Renfro, Broyles great assets to MC Athletics

By Tim Chambers

   The names of Danny Clark, Ray Smith and Tony Wallingford are well known to Milligan College baseball and basketball fans, but to these coaches and athletic director of Milligan sports, the names of Gene Renfro and Brandon Broyles are as equally important.
   Renfro serves as Coach Clark's right hand man while Broyles has been a workaholic for Coach Wallingford and the basketball program. These unsung heroes put in countless hours of work, yet find time to attend class and keep up their studies around the 3.0 mark.
   "The reason I chose Milligan was I felt like that is where God wanted me to be," said Renfro. "I didn't know much about the athletic program but everything has worked out well."
   Renfro stated that Milligan's academics had made him realize that hard work and dedication is the key to any type of success.
   "I first thought I wanted to become a math teacher but have now decided that my lifetime dream is to pursue a career as a sports information director," he said.
   Broyles' work is vital to the basketball program, and Coach Wallingford is well aware of Brandon's efforts.
   "Brandon is a very special person and hard worker," stated Wallingford. "We appreciate everything he does for our basketball program."
   "I had this feeling that the Lord wanted me here at Milligan," added Broyles. "I love the small classes and the environment. Milligan is so close-knit -- it has that family type atmosphere."
   The duties that each do are too numerous to name, but aside for traveling with the baseball team and making sure games are reported to the local newspapers, Renfro finds time to announce the women's softball games.
   Broyles helps send out flyers to basketball recruits in addition to making sure everything is in place before the start of each basketball game. He finds time to watch game film and is one of the last to leave after every game.
   Both young men touched on the speed of the game being so much different at the college level as opposed to high school.
   Broyles stated one of his most memorable moments was watching the Buffaloes advance to the national tournament in Bransom, Miss., his freshman season.
   "It was special seeing local players like Caleb Gilmer, Gabe Goulds, Nathan Jenkins, Michael Morrell and A.J. Hamler do so well," he said. "Those guys played a special type of basketball."
   Renfro touched on the Buffaloes winning five games in two days his sophomore season to clinch the AAC baseball tournament.
   "We had a rain delay and had been there nearly 24 hours, yet our kids played with so much heart and desire and managed to win it all," he explained.
   Broyles added Wallingford is a very special coach to work for.
   "Coach Wally is one of the nicest men that I have ever met in the coaches profession," he said. "He treats each player and staff member with respect. He makes you feel like an important part of the team.
   "The things that he has taught me not only about basketball, but life in general, and that will help me later on in coaching career."
   Renfro had some good tips for freshman planning to attend Milligan College.
   "Get off to a good start and study hard the first year," he said. "It's very important in college that you not fall behind in your work.
   "Sometimes it can be stressful when we get back late from games knowing I have to study but I try to keep my classwork up because I know that my degree is the most important thing I can obtain from Milligan College."
   Broyles added that the faculty was willing to work with any student who put forth the effort to achieve at Milligan.
   "They always have said if we have problems in our studies we could come to them," he said.
   Gene is a 2001 graduate of Happy Valley High School and the son of Gene and Helen Renfro of Johnson City.
   Brandon is the son of Ronnie and Jan Broyles of Chuckey. He graduated from David Crockett High School in 2000.
   Both of these young men were humble speaking about the blessings that they had received while attending Milligan College.
   "God has blessed me so much in my four years here," said Broyles. "Milligan will always be special to me."
   "I could never forget the coaches and friends I've made here while attending Milligan," added Renfro. "They have truly been a blessing to me."
   Neither will the coaches and staff at ever forget the hard work and effort put forth by Renfro and Broyles.
   God poured His blessings out to Milligan College when he provided them Gene and Brandon. After all, blessings do come in twos.