Frisco Liberty High School, Frisco, Texas (football, baseball)
Hometown: Ypsilanti, Michigan
Education: Lyon College
Email: coach.sep13 [at] gmail.com
The moment you first realized that you might like to make coaching part of your career.
One of my football coaches, Jim Sample, approached me after my last football game my senior year about what my plans were after college. At the time, I had helped with my younger brother’s youth teams but hadn’t thought of coaching as a profession. I had only considered becoming an orthopedic surgeon or an engineer, but honestly didn’t want to go to school that long and put myself out that deep in student loans. I fell in love with the idea of coaching and never turned back. I’ve coached every summer since graduating, even through my playing career.
Outside of mentors, talk about one or more ways you’ve learned some aspect of coaching.
Conversations! I love the Kevin Wilson philosophy that “Hitting is a conversation.” I think that applies to so many more things. My father taught me at an early age that you can (and should) learn something from everything you see, and everyone you talk to. If you like it, use it…and if you don’t, then you can learn what not to do. I’ve taken that to heart, and try to use any interaction with other coaches to ask questions or gain something to add to my coaching ideas, philosophy, communication tools, practice plans, etc.
Best career or work advice you ever received.
“Do what you love, and you won’t work a day in your life!” I heard this from my grandmother all throughout my childhood and from many other very influential people. I believe this is ultimately why I became a coach. I love the game of baseball (and football), and even more than that, I love being able to watch the players I coach change as players and as young men.
What is one thing you didn’t know about what coaches do before you got into coaching?
At Lyon College, Tony Roepcke shared with me that 80% of coaching has nothing to do with baseball — and I didn’t understand until I started working as a coach at that level. The level of detail that goes into field maintenance, knowing (guessing) the weather, fundraising, setting up the music and PA, coordinating meals — the list goes on and on. But it absolutely made me a better coach as I had to understand planning not only for what you’re going to do, but what you may have to do in a worst-case scenario.
Your dream lunch date. One coach. Any sport. Any level. Living or dead. Who is it?
Easy…Jim Valvano! I first came across the Jimmy V ESPY speech as a student assistant at Lyon College. I was immediately inspired by his message and began scouring the internet for more. I came across his “Cutting Down the Nets” speech at the Million Dollar Round Table meeting. I began to see how similar we already were, and saw a man between those two speeches that I could look up to. I would love to sit down with him to laugh, think, and cry…and we would have a heck of a day!