Bergen Community College Baseball – Paramus, New Jersey
Hometown: Lodi, New Jersey
Education: Felician University
Email: gluna [at] lodi-nj.org
The moment you first realized that you might like to make coaching part of your career.
Growing up playing baseball, my father, Scott Luna, was a coach. He was a long-time bird dog scout for the Seattle Mariners and was the head coach for Paramus Catholic High School baseball. While playing, I never put to much thought into coaching until my junior year of college, when I got hurt. I blew my back out and had two herniated discs (s1 L5). So, I red shirted.
I continued to play my collegiate career for Felician University, but was never was the same player. I became a platoon/role player I learned to study the game, do my own charts, take notes, and help my teammates with things like picking up pitch sequences or signs. I had a knack of understanding the game and I realized that’s what I wanted to do when I graduated.
Outside of mentors, talk about one or more ways you’ve learned some aspect of coaching.
I understand you don’t want mentors for this answer, but I learned from these people and this is how I understood the game.
Like I said above, I studied the game — I was obsessed with it. Time on the bench wasn’t time to fool around or talk about the night before with friends — it was a time for myself to get better watching good baseball and understanding the ins and outs of it.
I liked to watch coaches coach. To this day, while giving lessons or just watching a high school game, I study how the coaches coach.
Scott Luna – Former Paramus Catholic High School head coach really made a team feel welcome and preached every player was their own individual.
Mike Mobbs — NYU hitting coach. Hitting genius. The way he preaches the offensive part of baseball is like no other. He taught me how to break down hitting the easiest and most effective way.
Marc Palestina – hitting coach for William Patterson. Another huge mentor who got me started in my collegiate coaching career. Marc brought me on as an assistant coach in a summer college league right after my baseball playing career ended and he taught me the art of communicating and how important it is in the game of baseball.
Steven Mimms — head coach of Bergen Community College. The guy is a miracle worker, I learned so much from Mimms. He looks at the game from a different point of view and taught me how to be a patient but be an aggressive coach.
Paul Magrini – head coach at Paramus Catholic High School. He taught me how to grind. He taught me how to stay on top of my players and getting the most out of my players. Mags is a legend.
If you could go back to your rookie coach self and give one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t over-think. Think with your head not your heart. Just reacted to the situation with the best possible solution.
What is your favorite memory from coaching?
I’d say my best memory of coaching would be stepping on the field the first time as a collegiate coach getting the win in Myrtle beach in 2017. I know it sounds cliché, but that meant a lot to me.
Also being the hitting coach for the number one total offence in the country back to back years in JUCO baseball.
Your dream lunch date. One coach. Any sport. Any level. Living or dead. Who is it?
Nick Saban. Just the way he runs a program, I would love to know all his strategies how to run an athletic team the way he does.