Copiah-Lincoln Community College Baseball
Hometown: Louisville, Mississippi
Education: East Central Community College, Mississippi Valley State, Delta State
Email: jack.edmonson [at] colin.edu
The moment you first realized that you might like to make coaching part of your career.
I was one of the few people in the world who knew at a very young age what I wanted to do with my life. As a kid my world revolved around baseball. The first time I remember being asked what I wanted to do when I grew up was by my fourth-grade teacher. I thought “that’s easy, I want to play for the Atlanta Braves”. I soon realized the chances of that happening were slim, so I set my sights on coaching. I went through high school and college having different relationships with my coaches than most players because I was more interested in the “why”. I soaked up what each person’s responsibilities were on the field, and I took pride in being able to be a coach on the field. I have never once considered doing anything other than coaching baseball.
Outside of mentors, talk about one way you’ve learned some aspects of coaching.
One of my responsibilities at Co-Lin Community College is recruiting, and that allows me to watch hundreds of high school baseball games each year. This gives me the opportunity to use my ears and eyes to learn about the game of baseball. I love to watch good teams and sit quietly in hopes of picking up little bits of information that I can use with my own teams. Having the opportunity to listen to each team’s coach as he dissects the game is something I look forward to while on the recruiting trail. I also spend hours each week listening podcast that talk about things such as offense, base running, infield play, and mental game. I also enjoy watching games when I don’t have to watch certain players, so I can simply watch the different schemes and techniques unfold that are taking place before, during, and after the games. Podcast and clinics have been very beneficial to my coaching career, but there is no substitute to watching things happen naturally on the field.
If you could go back to your rookie coach self and give one piece of advice, what would it be?
I was a typical young coach that had everything figured out. I knew what worked for me as a player, and I couldn’t wait to make those things work just the same for every player I ever coach. Wow was I wrong. If I could go back and talk to myself as a rookie coach, I would tell myself that there are more ways to do things than just my way. I would also tell myself that mechanics are great, but no two people’s bodies will work the same way, and that I should try to help them do what they do better instead of making them do things the way I thought they had to be done.
Best career or work advice you ever received?
The best career advice I’ve ever received came from Neal Holliman, who was my junior college baseball coach, and the first person to give me a full time coaching opportunity. When I say full time, I meant full time hours not full time pay. I remember talking to him on the phone my senior year of college and him saying very clearly, “Jack I need a guy that’s willing to do this job as good as they can, not as good as they’re getting paid”. I’ve kept those words with me for a long time, and I still remind myself of that often. I take pride in what I do for a living, and I try to show the passion I have to each person that I encounter.
Your dream lunch date. One coach. Any sport. Any level.
There are dozens of incredible coaches that I would love to sit down and chat with for hours, but if I could only choose one coach, it would be Coach Mike Krzyzewski. I have always been amazed by how Duke’s basketball program is near the top year in and year out. I emailed Coach K during my senior year of college asking for advice for a young coach. I wanted him to give me one piece of information that I could use to help jump start my coaching career. I have always been blown away at how he is able to keep his guys focused on the game they were about to play.