One of the Northern Region’s most popular and respected baseball coaches, Herndon High’s Al McCullock, has decided to call it a career as the Hornets’ longtime skipper.
McCullock, who is retiring as a teacher following this school year, also will relinquish his position as the Herndon varsity coach, a position he has occupied the past 17 years.
Herndon’s current season ended on May 13 with a loss to Robinson in the Concorde District quarterfinals. The Hornets finished with an 8-11 record.
"This year, we had a good bunch of kids," said McCullock. "They worked hard, and we were in every game. That’s what you work for."
The Herndon ball diamond was recently re-named in McCullock’s honor.
Herndon’s best seasons under McCullock came in 1995 and 1996 when the Hornets captured region titles. They defeated Lake Braddock in the 1995 finals and knocked off Woodson in the 1996 championship.
Herndon’s 2002 team was one of the better outfits in the region as well. That McCullock-led squad finished 21-3.
Herndon, under McCullock, captured four district championships.
"Al has always fielded competitive teams and his kids were always a well-prepared baseball team," said Potomac Falls baseball coach Joe Terango, whose teams competed in the same district as Herndon in 1997 and 1998.
Prior to his tenure as the program’s head coach, McCullock was head baseball coach of the Herndon JV team for 10 years before spending three years as a varsity assistant.
He also served as an assistant football coach at the school in those early years.
As a teacher at Herndon for 30 years, he has taught geometry and computer science.
"I’ve liked the people I’ve worked with," said McCullock, on why he remained at Herndon for so long. "We had a lot of fun coaching baseball and football."
McCullock, who resides in Leesburg with his family, said he looks forward to watching his son, Tyler, compete athletically at Heritage High School in Leesburg. Tyler, finishing up his sophomore year, plays both baseball and ice hockey at Heritage.
<b>MCCULLOCK GREW UP</b> in Northern Virginia and he always loved baseball. A graduate of Robert E. Lee High School in Springfield, McCullock played under legendary Lancers’ baseball coach Rick Bradley.
Al’s father, also named Al, was the head baseball coach at Falls Church High in the early 1970s and on into the 1980s. Prior to that, the elder McCullock was the baseball coach at Wakefield High in Arlington.
"I remember going to games when I was little," said McCullock, of the times spent going to his dad’s ball games. "I remember playing in the press box."
Over his coaching career at Herndon, McCullock has had 15 former players, at one point or another, join his coaching staff.
McCullock, along with coaching, played the game as an adult until he was 42 as a member of the Springfield Rifles, a team within the local industrial league. He has simply always had a passion for the sport.
"I just love baseball and have always been a baseball person," he said. "I love helping kids and being around the game."