News: Lead by example
Story by Jo Adail Stephenson
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Travis Gentry’s winning attitude and work ethic forge the steel strength of his character defined by leading by example.
The Defense Contract Management Agency Huntsville employee recently coached his baseball team, STEEL, all the way to earning this year’s Baseball United States Specialty Sports Association Age 13 Class AA Alabama state championship.
“I encourage hard work with a concept of perfect practice makes perfect, a foundation of personal discipline that leads to good character and the acknowledgment of the blessings that allow us to compete,” said Gentry, whose team finished in the top spot with five wins and zero losses at the state tournament with games played at Alabaster, Ala., and Hoover, Ala.
He is not new to winning. In the past 11 months, Gentry coached his teams to three state championships, one of which was earned last season in 2012 when his Section Lions 12-year-old Dizzy Dean team won the Alabama State Championship. The team performed well with a 28-1 all-star season record, only losing in the semi-final round and finishing third in the 2012 World Series.
“These young men and their families are all exceptional people,” he said. “I am blessed to be a part of the success.”
He lives by the same principles whether he’s coaching or working.
“Travis’ success formula with coaching is the same formula he applies to his duties as a systems engineer,” said Duane Jardine, systems engineering team chief. “His character, confidence and natural leadership ability have earned him the respect and admiration of his DCMA teammates, management and pretty much anyone he interacts with. He is, in my opinion, one of the finest people I have had the privilege to work with.”
Gentry shared his work and coaching philosophy.
“Hard work, discipline and teamwork are important,” said Gentry, DCMA Huntsville program support team systems engineer. “The ultimate goal of working together as a team is to combine the individual talents and accomplish the common goal or mission. Just like the players on a baseball team, each member of a DCMA program support team has a specific job to do. Together, we work to provide warfighters with the tools they need to accomplish the mission.”
Enjoyment of the game and his competitive nature inspire Gentry to continue volunteering his time and serving as the local baseball community leader in the small town of Section, Ala., as he has done for the past eight years.
His coaching dream is to make a difference.
“I enjoy teaching and leading young people to excel,” Gentry said. “I would like to see any one of the team members excel to the point of receiving a scholarship taking him through college."