The moment you first realized that you might like to make coaching part of your career.
Baseball has been in my life since birth. Literally, as a baby, I came home from the hospital in a baseball uniform. I always wanted to be in baseball. When I realized professional scouts were not calling and no one was going to draft me, I was ready to coach. I was 22 years old and the head freshman coach at Delaware Hayes High School in Delaware, Ohio. I was working in an architecture firm full time while coaching in the afternoons. I would work 6am to 2pm to make it to practice at 3pm. I would walk into the firm the next morning and not remember what I was working on the day before because I had been so consumed with baseball. It was at that point that I realized if I could make a living coaching baseball, I would never work a day in my life.
Outside of mentors, talk about one way you’ve learned some aspect of coaching.
I read a lot of books about coaching and leadership. The online library is amazing. I have read about some of the legendary coaches in many sports. Coach K, Augie Garrdio, Urban Meyer, Jim Tressel, Lou Holtz to name a few. I read the book Pysho-Cybernetics by Dr, Maxwell Maltz every other year. I recently read Life is Good: The Book by Bert and John Jacobs and that was an interesting book about leadership. I read about presidents, anything about leaders and leadership that can help me grow as a leader.
If you could go back to your rookie coach self and give one piece of advice, what would it be?
My advice would be to not assume players know what to do on the field. When I first started coaching, I was blown away by what players did not know. I assumed as freshmen in high school that they knew how to lead-off the bases or knew how to round first base and I assumed that pitchers knew how to hold runners. It seems crazy looking back 17 years ago, but I assumed kids knew that kind of stuff by high school. I now assume incoming college freshman do not know anything, because if I do assume they know things that they do not, I am not doing my job as a coach. I would rather start with the very basics, things they should already know, instead of getting too in depth and the players being lost.
Name one new thing you want to accomplish this year.
Understanding the Rapsodo pitching data. We have just started working with our Sports Analytics Club in how to maximize our pitchers’ potentials. The players love the instant data feedback and I want to be proficient with the information.
Your dream lunch date. One coach. Any sport. Any level. Living or dead. Who is it?
This a tough question. There are so many great coaches that I would love to have lunch with. If I had to pick one, I would have to say Joe Maddon. It would be awesome to sit down with him and talk about leadership and how he handles players. I would not even necessarily talk baseball with him. I would want to pick is brain on his leadership style.