ACS: Michael Keeran, Valley City State University

Michael Keeran
Valley City State University Baseball
Hometown: Clear Lake, Iowa
Education: Waldorf University 
Twitter: @keerdog07
Email: michael.keeran [at] vcsu.edu



The moment you first realized that you might like to make coaching part of your career.

I always looked up to my high school baseball coach Seth Thompson and had a very successful high school football coach, Fred Wieck. I was always a pretty analytical player and liked the strategy behind athletics (game film, scouting, preparation, game planning.). They were both very successful, both winning state championships, but they did it in different ways. I think that’s what attracted me to coaching the most was the way they were so different and authentic, but both men had so much success and taught me so much. 

I am very competitive and driven, so it was a chance to keep me in the game and allow my future players to have the same opportunities they gave me. 

Outside of mentors, talk about one way you’ve learned some aspect of coaching.

I am currently getting my master’s degree, so being able to be a student ais helping me to learn the importance of organization, attention to detail, planning, brainstorming, and deadlines. I want my players to try to put importance on education and always trying to better themselves. In baseball it is so important to keep learning and evolving. I have to walk the walk and be a role model for that.

Another I have found is just watching games, and kind of putting myself in the managers/head coach’s shoes of what I would do and see if their decision has success or failure. 

If you could go back to your rookie coach self and give one piece of advice, what would it be?

Even though I am still very young (24), I started coaching high school baseball as an assistant head at the age of 18. One of the cool things about Iowa high school baseball is they play their baseball in the summer. So it allowed me to play college baseball in the spring, coach in the summer, and play summer ball for a neighboring town. 

I would tell myself as a rookie coach that it’s okay to make mistakes, and it’s okay to ask for help. I feel I put a lot of pressure on myself and tried to be perfect and was afraid to admit I didn’t know everything. 

Name one new thing you want to accomplish this year.

It’s my first year with Valley City State University, so I would like to raise our winning percentage from last year, improve our record to over .500, and finish in the top half of our conference. I want to help build this program into a powerhouse. Coach Casey Olney has taught me a lot my first year here, and am thankful for this opportunity. 

Best career or work advice you ever received.

I would have to say the best advice I got was from my high school baseball coach. He had such a quality work ethic and attention to detail. He showed me the importance of being a leader and doing the hard detail work. Showing up and doing hours of field work before a game or on an off-day. Watching the freshman and JV games and coaching them up and being there for guidance to them.  The things he would do outside of practice for his guys to succeed was something I definitely noticed. I was extremely blessed and spoiled to be on his staff for four years, and being a part of three state championships during that time. 

What is one thing you didn’t know about what coaches do before you got into coaching?

I would say for college coaching, I understood that coaches recruited, but never truly understood how much time and effort goes into it. 24/7. 365. It never stops. Luckily for me I fell in love with the process and building relationship with recruits/future players. It’s something that I take a lot of pride in. 

Your dream lunch date. One coach. Any sport. Any level. Living or dead. Who is it?

Bill Belichick. The greatest coach of all-time in my opinion. From a preparation stand-point and getting the most out of his talent, I don’t think anyone has done it better. 

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