Mike Gillespie, Head Coach
Men's Basketball, 1990-2001
Mike Gillespie directed the Tallahassee Community College men’s basketball program for eleven seasons prior to departing for Florida A&M University in May 2001. After arriving in Tallahassee in the fall of 1990, Gillespie, who hails from Joliet, Illinois, acquainted himself with TCC and the community by coaching a club level team comprised of walk-ons.
The following year, the Eagles began intercollegiate play and their effort was the finest ever by a first-year program in the National Junior College Athletic Association. Peaking at number three nationally, TCC became the first school in NJCAA history to achieve a national ranking in its first season. That same year, Gillespie=s Eagles also earned an unprecedented number one ranking among Florida community colleges.
Gillespie, who also served as Athletic Director from 1994-2001, won at least 21 games each season on his way to a career record of 258-56. The Eagles made their first of six post-season appearances in 1994, advancing to the Florida Community College Activities Association State Tournament as Panhandle Conference runners-up. In 1996, Gillespie led TCC to its first Panhandle Conference Championship, becoming the first team to go through the conference schedule undefeated.
The highlight of his TCC career came a year later when the Eagles won their second straight conference title, as well as their first state championship. The 35-2 Eagles finished third in the NJCAA National Tournament.
Gillespie was named Panhandle Conference Coach of the Year three times, and was the FCCAA Coach of the Year in 1997. In 2002, he was inducted into the Florida Community College Men’s Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.
While at TCC, Gillespie coached four NJCAA All-Americans as well as numerous all-conference and all-state players. Over 40 of his former student-athletes continued their education and athletic careers at four-year colleges.
Mike McLeod, Head Coach
When Tallahassee Community College revitalized its athletic program, it chose Tallahassee native Mike McLeod as the architect of its baseball program. A graduate of Godby High School and Florida State University, McLeod took the reins of the Eagle baseball program in September 1990.
Following TCC’s 20-year hiatus from the sport, McLeod built the Eagle baseball program from the ground up. After playing a club level schedule in 1991, TCC returned to intercollegiate action a year later. During his tenure with the Eagles, he has yet to have a losing season, amassing over 400 victories during that time.
McLeod’s Eagles captured their first Panhandle Conference Championship in 1994 with a sparkling 42-9 record in only its third year, advancing to the Florida Community College Activities Association State Tournament. They made two more post-season trips before winning a second conference title in 1999. That same year, McLeod garnered Panhandle Conference Coach of the Year honors, an accolade he also received following the 1994 campaign.
McLeod’s best season came in 2000, when TCC won a school-record 48 games on its way to a fifth trip to state. That season saw the Eagles atop the state poll for five consecutive weeks while also earning a number three national ranking, the first time TCC had appeared in the NJCAA poll.
McLeod, who served as Athletic Director during the 2001-02 year, has coached two major leaguers and an NJCAA All-American in addition to a plethora of all-conference and all-state players. To date, over 90 of his former Eagles have continued their education and playing careers at four-year schools. More than 20 players were selected in Major League Baseball’s annual draft while attending TCC.
Maria Mendoza, Head Coach
Maria Mendoza, Tallahassee Community College’s first softball coach, guided the Eagles from their inception in 1993 through the end of the 2001 season. While at TCC, Mendoza accumulated an impressive 385-130 record, which included three 50-win seasons.
TCC spent its first two seasons playing in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s slow-pitch division, where it quickly became a power. During the Eagles’ inaugural season in 1993, her squad won an amazing 53 games on their way to the first of three Panhandle Conference titles.
In 1994, Mendoza=s Eagles were 62-17, establishing a single-season record for wins. That season also saw TCC capture the Florida Community College Activities Association State Championship as well as the NJCAA’s slow-pitch national title, the school’s first and only national championship.
Despite making the jump to the fast-pitch division the following season, Mendoza and the Eagles continued to thrive, capturing their second conference title in 1995. Conference title number three came three years later when the Eagles won a Panhandle Conference record 18 games.
Mendoza’s final team won 47 games, finished as Panhandle Conference runners-up, and made a sixth post-season appearance.
A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, Mendoza received numerous individual honors to go along with her team’s success. Following the 1993, 1995, and 1998 seasons, she was named Panhandle Conference Coach of the Year. In 1994, she was recognized as Coach of the Year on both the state and national levels.
While at TCC, Mendoza coached eight NJCAA All-Americans, as well as 46 all-conference and 24 all-state players.
Twenty-eight of her former student-athletes continued their education and athletic careers at four-year colleges.
Jan Piatnik, Head Coach
Women's Basketball, 1993-97
Jan Piatnik, Tallahassee Community College’s first women’s basketball coach, directed the Lady Eagles for four seasons. After spending the 1993-94 campaign recruiting student-athletes, as well as a coaching staff, Piatnik hit the floor running in the fall of 1994.
The inaugural season was a spectacular start for the Lady Eagles. After finishing as Panhandle Conference runners-up, they advanced to the Florida Community College Activities Association State Tournament, where they fell one victory short of a state championship.
Piatnik guided TCC back to the post-season in 1997, this time as Panhandle Conference Champions, recording a 27-5 record, including a school-record 13-2 mark in conference play. For her efforts, she was named Panhandle Conference Coach of the Year.
Prior to her arrival at TCC, Piatnik, a native of Hillsdale, Michigan, spent five years at Tallahassee’s Maclay School. While at Maclay, she led the Lady Marauders to a 126-32 record and the 1993 Class A State Championship. Piatnik’s success continued at TCC, where she posted a 64-28 record with the Lady Eagles.
Nine of Piatnik’s former student-athletes advanced to four-year colleges, where they continued their education and athletic careers.