About Coach Mac

John McCarthy


John is a native Washingtonian and product of the DC Public Schools and the #8 Police Boys and Girls Club. He has served as director of Home Run Baseball Camp since founding the program in 1994. Thousands and thousands of ballplayers ages 4-12 from all over Washington and New York City have participated and no full scholarship request has ever been turned down. John places a premium on effort, competitive fire, teamwork and good sportsmanship. Hundreds of camp alums have played college baseball. Over 2,000 assistant coaches have worked on John’s staff– the majority were camp alumni.

A motivator’s motivator, John is a speaker sought after by companies, organizations and schools. He has been invited to speak all over the country and overseas in such places as Augsburg, Havana, The Hague, Tokyo, Paris and San Pedro de Macoris.
John was raised in AU Park by Mavourneen and Colman McCarthy, the middle of three boys.  Their mother was a registered nurse who focused on obstetrics at Columbia Hospital and home hospice care.  John’s father is a journalist and teacher.
After graduating from Wilson HS, John played college baseball for The University of South Alabama, Enterprise (AL) Community College and Troy (AL) University. John’s teams competed against Mississippi State, UCLA, LSU, South Carolina, Cal State Fullerton, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Florida State, Auburn, Alabama, Texas A&M, Southern Mississippi, Iowa, BYU and South Florida, among others.  Three years, his teams were ranked in the top 15 nationally and twice reached the NCAA tournament. John was a two year starter and over four years his teams won over 130 games. John played for Alabama Baseball Hall of Fame coaching inductees Ronnie Powell and Tim Hulsey and American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer Steve Kittrell. Five of his teammates went on to play in the Major Leagues. John earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism.
In 1994 John also founded Elementary Baseball, a critically acclaimed literacy, baseball and mentoring program for 120 kids each year in Washington’s Shaw neighborhood. The program soon partnered with the DC Superior Court and the DC Court of Appeals. Chief Judge Eugene N. Hamilton and Chief Judge Annice M. Wagner became directly involved in Elementary Baseball’s development and served as key allies and advisors. Judges A. Franklin  Burgess, Russell F. Canan, Gregory E. Mize and Michael L. Rankin worked closely with John in designing the mentoring aspect which was called the “In Season Counselor” program. More than 80 judges and court employees stepped up to be paired one-on-one with Elementary Baseball students. 
Sen. Birch Bayh (D-IN) also got behind the program in its first year and played a critical role in the program’s growth, community implementation and served as a mentor to John as the years unfolded. In 1997, the US Department of Justice, under the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, funded Elementary Baseball and named it one of five Pathways to Success programs nationally for kids in America’s poorest neighborhoods. Elementary Baseball was a model for the University of Notre Dame’s Service Program Teamwork for Tomorrow. Over 800 students participated over Elementary Baseball’s 15 year run.
In 1999, John was asked by the US Peace Corps to train their volunteers in the Dominican Republic to learn how to develop community based baseball programs. That same year, John was asked by Sister Lenore Gibb and the Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception in the Dominican Republic to work with retired MLB player Jesus “Pepe” Frias to create and implement a school based program. That program became Beisbol y Libros, the only one of it’s kind on the island. Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D-VT) Chief of Staff, Luke Albee and the Senator’s staff became directly involved in supporting and advising the program’s growth and success.  Many Washington and Dominican coaches stepped up to get involved building and sustaining the program. More than 15 Beisbol y Libros student-athletes went on to sign contracts with Major League organizations.
For twenty years John also taught a course called Alternatives to Violence on the adjunct faculty at his alma mater, Wilson HS. In 1998 he was awarded the Ray A. Kroc Teacher Achievement Award for the Washington area.
In 2019 John was part of a small group of American coaches invited to Pope Francis’ conference entitled Sport in Service to Humanity.  Also in 2019, John was a technical advisor to the play Toni Stone, about a woman baseball player in the Negro Leagues, which premiered off Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre on June 20, 2019.
John is currently working with former three term US Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and her husband, Frank Snellings, to raise capital for the construction for the new San Lucas primary care clinic in Consuelo, Dominican Republic.  Founded in 1952, it offers obstetrics, pediatrics, cardiology, dental and internal medicine, is run by the Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception and overseen day to day by Dr. Francisca Vasquez, MD and Sister Natividad, RN.  All patients are welcome and children are treated at no costs.  John is also a board member for the Willie Strong Foundation which is endowing a chair at Children’s Hospital in Washington to focus on pediatric glioblastoma.  
John has written for National Catholic Reporter and contributed to the book What Do You Stand For? He speaks regularly around the country and visits include Brown, Georgetown, Yale, American, Howard, GWU, the Fulbright Scholars dinner, the All for One gang prevention program in California, the US Customs and Border Patrol Advanced Training Center, the American Psychiatric Association Annual Convention and the Alabama Baseball Coaches Convention, among others.
John has been profiled in Newsweek, Time, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Augsburg Allgemeine, Education Week, Legal Times and on the Today Show, NPR, CNN, Univision, Al Jazeera America, Voice of America and Nightline. In 1998 he was named by MTV as one of the top ten community leaders under 30. In 2000, Chief Judge Eugene N. Hamilton awarded him the DC Superior Court Medal of Excellence and in 2001 John was named an Irish American of the Year. John and his wife Oumou have two daughters — Ava Mavourneen and Alice Sadio.