The moment you first realized that you might like to make coaching part of your career.
I feel like I’ve known since I was very young that coaching would be a potential career path. My father was a high school football and baseball coach in Ohio. I looked up to him in a lot of aspects of life and being a coach was certainly one thing I wanted to do to be like my father. I realized coaching college ball was something I wanted to try when Keith Veale encouraged me to go out scouting with him when I played for him.
Outside of mentors, talk about one or more ways you’ve learned some aspect of coaching.
By failure, I mean man I was lost when I first got into coaching. It was like a whole new world. We did some things and I look back and think what was I doing. Shout out to my first pitching staff, my fault fellas I’m a better coach because you guys wore the mistakes like champions. When you’re young you think you know it all and you don’t. Plain and simple; be open to new ideas, take them in and maybe one day you’ll use them. Trust me, we do things way different now than when I first got into coaching. The biggest key is finding a head coach that is willing to let you make mistakes and is willing to work with your mistakes. If you don’t have the freedom to coach and learn from your mistakes you’ll never grow and reach your potential.
If you could go back to your rookie coach self and give one piece of advice, what would it be?
The biggest piece of advice I would give myself as a rookie coach would be to enjoy it because you don’t know how good you have it. Learning from Matt Parker and being around him for two years was the greatest blessing in my career. I continually asked myself the question there has to be a better way and searched for the answers. Instead, I should have just taken it all in and enjoyed what I was doing for the program I was working for and the guys I worked with on a daily basis. Also, take a risk every once in a while. I was so scared to mess things up; we want our players to play with reckless abandonment we need to coach that way. No shame in saying yea I messed up I’ll be better.
And one more thing — don’t hesitate or miss an opportunity to tell your players you love them. It’s easier to say I love you daily than to tell your guys how much you care about them and love them in tears when the season ends.
What is your favorite memory from a coaching conference or clinic.
Ah man, my first ABCA 2015 in Orlando. Coach Veale invited me; he said it would be a good experience if I wanted to get into coaching. Corbs hit lead off and crushed it. Travis Jewett and his hitting talk was awesome. The whole experience was incredible. the hot stoves were legit I mean Karl Kuhn led the pitching one I think and it was just free thinking and thoughts flying around the room. I mean best convention I’ve been too by far.
Best career or work advice you ever received.
Be where your feet are. It’s easy to look to the next stop. It’s easy to compare what you and your program have to what other programs have and where you feel deficient. Do the best with what you have where you’re at and eventually you will be in a better place.
Your dream lunch date. One coach. Any sport. Any level. Living or dead. Who is it?
Tim Corbin is the easy answer for me. I mean in my mind there isn’t a greater coach at the college baseball level than him. I believe he’s the gold standard of what it means to be a coach and mentor.