Benedictine College (IL)
Hometown: Springfield, Illinois
Education: North Park University
Email: jbonnett [at] ben.edu
The moment you first realized that you might like to make coaching part of your career.
I was always fascinated with the coaching aspect of the game. I became very serious about coaching after being able to watch my college coach, Luke Johnson (North Park University), go about running a successful program. The way he impacted my life as well as my baseball career was something I will never forget. I knew that impact he had was something I wanted to be able to give back to future athletes like myself.
Outside of mentors, talk about one or more ways you’ve learned some aspect of coaching.
Becoming a father has really put coaching kids into perspective. I have learned it is not about me and my accomplishments. It about providing a pathway to make our players better son, fathers, and husbands. It’s about getting these 18-22 year old kids prepared for life outside of baseball. My daughter and wife are fully engulfed in our program and I try to show our players how to go about being a good husband and father on a daily basis. It’s not about the four years they are with us at Benedictine, it is about the rest of the lives and how they become productive members of our society.
If you could go back to your rookie coach self and give one piece of advice, what would it be?
I would tell myself that the sun always comes up tomorrow as far as winning and losing is concerned. I would also say that you need to make sure you invest trust, love and care into your players as if they’re your kids because you make a difference in their lives whether you will ever know it or not.
Best career or work advice you ever received.
When you’re at the field be a coach. When you are at home be a father and husband. This advice has helped make sure I am not bringing my work home with me. When I get home from practice and/or games, I make a concerted effort to put my phone away and put all my focus on my wife and daughter. They sacrifice so much for me that I feel they deserve my full attention.
Your dream lunch date. One coach. Any sport. Any level. Living or dead. Who is it?
Tim Corbin. When you hear his players talk it is clear that he does an incredible job of developing his players not only on the baseball field, but as men.
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