Emily Jones McCoy, the woman who does it all
Emily Jones McCoy is a master of the balancing act. She is a wife, mother and sidelines reporter for the Texas Rangers. She cofounded Posh Play, a company that creates baby play mats. She serves as president of the Do It For Durret Foundation, a nonprofit that raises funds for working-class families impacted by a sudden loss. McCoy is an independent consultant for wine company Scout & Cellar and skincare company Rodan+Fields. All that and she also wrote two children’s books.
“I don’t mind taking chances,” McCoy said in an interview that she squeezed into her busy schedule at Starbucks in Fort Worth. “I don’t mind saying yes to things because I figure, what’s the worst that can happen? It just doesn’t work out. But you never know what could happen until you try it, so whether it’s writing a children’s book or being president of a nonprofit or starting a business. I’m just like why not?”
Dark hair pulled into a tight pony tail, McCoy sported navy-blue tights and a gray Patagonia puff jacket. Before sitting down to chat, she got one of Starbucks’ protein boxes, which included two eggs, cheese, and fruit. McCoy admitted that the most difficult part is balancing everything that she does while also trying to spend time with her family. McCoy and her husband, Mike, have two children: Henry, 7, and Hattie, who is 5.
“I want them to see that mommy has a job and mommy works really hard, and that’s the path that I’ve chosen,” McCoy explained. “I’m not saying that it’s better than if I didn’t have a job, but for me this is the best. For me to be the best mom I can be is for me to also have some other things going on other than pouring every single thing into my children. All of the things I’m doing I’m trying to do in a positive way to show them that.”
Although McCoy is invested in a lot of different areas, her purpose behind everything that she does is the same.
“I think I’m just trying to be a good human being and I’m trying to raise decent human beings,” McCoy said. “I hope that the things that I do, not all of them for sure because I mess up all the time, but I hope that by and large the things that I do reflect that.”
It’s clear that this is McCoy’s goal, even in her most well-known activity, reporting for the Texas Rangers baseball team, whose season will start March 25 with a game against the Chicago Cubs. During the 30 to 35 games on the road and 70 home games, McCoy spends a lot of time with the players, and she wants fans to see who the Rangers really are.
“I want to be a conduit from them to our fans,” McCoy said. “A lot of times the guys are misunderstood. They’re good dudes and you want other people to know that even if they go 0 for 5 with three strikeouts, at the end of the day, they’re still a good human being. And I’m thankful to the Rangers because that’s a role they’ve really let me carve out and that’s not one that every organization has.”
McCoy, who is 41, didn’t come into this role without a lot of hard work and persistence. From the time she was a little girl, she wanted to be on TV. She watched Katie Couric on the ‘Today’ show and thought it was “so cool.” Because she was raised by her father from the fourth grade on, she became more interested in sports and eventually decided on being a sportscaster.
“I never imagined doing anything else, I never thought about doing anything else and I never entertained the idea of doing anything else,” McCoy said.
McCoy studied broadcasting and minored in Spanish at Texas Tech University. Although she wanted to cover sports, her first job out of college was reporting news because there was an opening at the NBC affiliate in Lubbock, where she interned in college. After two years she was hired as the sports director.
“There was only one other woman running a sports department at a major network affiliate in the entire country,” McCoy remembered. “So, I was the second and I was 23 years old. I had no idea what I was getting into. So, it was kind of baptism by fire, but I’m thankful for it.”
After being sports director for four years, she made the jump to Fox Sports Southwest. She worked with Fox as a sportscaster for nine years, but after having her second child, decided she might be done with TV.
“I left Fox and that’s when the Rangers came to me about working exclusively with them,” McCoy said. “That’s been a fantastic marriage because it enables me to kind of have the best of both worlds. I have six months of craziness and then six months of pretty chill, make my own schedule, do my own thing.”
McCoy has been working exclusively with the Rangers for six seasons. Fans know her for her accurate reporting and spunkiness, which allows her to hold her own in the male-dominated organization. When I asked McCoy what her favorite part of her job is, she quickly responded the relationships she’s been able to build with the players.
“You become invested and you feel like you’re a part of this team and this community,” McCoy said. “I’ve made lifelong friends. Guys that have gotten traded, have gone to other teams or retired, we still stay in touch. That, for me, is easily the best part.”
McCoy’s favorite memory from her time with the Rangers is when they won the American League West Division Championship in 2010 in Oakland. It was the first time that Michael Young, Ian Kinsler and other players who had been through the rebuilding of the team had been to the playoffs.
“Afterward, we all went out,” McCoy gushed. “We took over a bar in San Francisco and it was everyone. It was media, it was players, it was players’ families, it was front office. It was this purely joyous experience.”
Before sharing this memory with me, McCoy admitted that sideline reporting for the Texas Rangers was not originally what she wanted to do. Her first love was college football, but after she spent time with the Rangers, she knew she was where she was supposed to be.
“I did Big 12 sidelines and it was so great,” McCoy said. “But the relationship that I developed with the Rangers was very organic and natural and it was just something that happened over time. If you would’ve asked me fifteen years ago if this was my dream job, I would’ve told you no. But now I can’t imagine doing anything else. I have no desire to do anything else.”
After being with the organization for almost 13 years, McCoy’s role has taken various forms. She works with Spanish-speaking players like Jose Leclerc and Yohander Mendez to improve their English and show them how to do interviews. She also sees herself as a “mama bear,” which is a transition from when she first started with the Rangers.
“I went from having a bunch of guys who were like my brothers,” McCoy explained. “We were all in similar life phases. Michael Young, Ian Kinsler, Mitch Moreland, Mike Napoli. We were all early to mid-thirties and having kids and talking about stuff like that. Then all of a sudden, I looked up and I’m the old lady in the room. These guys are calling me mom and they’re asking for advice about dating and different things like that.”
As her role continues to change, McCoy plans on staying with the Rangers for a while, especially with the new ball park opening in 2020.
“I’m not going to go all the way up until here and not do 2020,” McCoy laughed. “Unless something totally unforeseen happens, I would imagine 2020 I’ll for sure work. I only do one-year contracts because I never know from season to season.”
McCoy has achieved a lot and does many things because her goals are set high. She encouraged me to do the same.
“Have an ultimate goal of where you might end up,” McCoy said. “Identify that and then work yourself backwards to what’s a logical step just before that, and what’s a logical step just before that, and get yourself kind of a road map, but at the same time, once you’ve created that road map, don’t be afraid to allow yourself to go down different paths and to take a different route.”
For more information about Posh Play, the Do It For Durrett Foundation, Scout&Cellar or Rodan+Fields, go to poshplaymat.com, doitfordurrett.com, scoutandcellar.com and rodanandfields.com, respectively.