Albright College Baseball – Reading, Pennsylvania
Hometown: Poughkeepsie, NY
Education: SUNY – New Paltz
Email: sbuchanan [at] albright.edu
The moment you first realized that you might like to make coaching part of your career.
I first realized that I wanted to make coaching part of my career back in high school. I had some great teacher influences that made me want to be a high school teacher. That got paired with my baseball obsession and brought me to the realization that “I want to teach through baseball.”
Originally, I thought it would be great to be a high school teacher and coach baseball on the side, but as time went on, I became more and more infatuated with the coaching side of things. After college baseball had ended for me, I just decided “this is it, I want to be in college baseball forever.” I have had a ton of great coaches and mentors that have helped me stay on that path and that’s brought me to where I am now.
Outside of mentors, talk about one or more ways you’ve learned some aspect of coaching.
Reading. Reading and developing a passion for learning have been the most important influences on my career. I wasn’t always an avid reader but a few years ago I got started and one book lead to another, which lead to another, and lead to another. Reading give us a chance to dive into a specific subject and learn from someone who has taken years to become an expert on the topic. For me, the topic isn’t always about baseball, sometimes it is, but more often than not I’m reading something from a great leader, an entrepreneur, a major company, science, biomechanics or whatever else grabs my attention. I then try to take whatever I’ve learned and tie it back to our program and our players so I can be better equipped to help them develop. I also have found it’s a huge help with communication in pretty much any situation because if I haven’t gone through it myself, I’ve probably read about someone who has.
I get made fun of now because there is almost always an Amazon package in the mailbox with a new book and I will admit that I buy books faster than I can read them but knowing that new information and new knowledge is out there just gets me too fired up to not click “buy now”.
What is one thing you didn’t know (or fully understand) about what coaches do before you got into coaching?
Probably the biggest thing I didn’t fully understand about coaching until I actually became a coach was how much time gets put in on things other than actually coaching. In the grand scheme of things, we spend far more time doing things like recruiting, monitoring academics, fundraising, budgeting, scheduling, strength and conditioning and so on. It gets to the point where actually coaching baseball is the reward for doing everything else that comes with the job.
Best career or work advice you ever received.
“The game rewards longevity.” During one of my very first assistant coaching jobs my head coach told me that as I was trying to find my footing in this game. It’s become a mantra for me during tough times and it helped me keep pushing forward to where I am today and towards whatever the future brings. When any young coach asks for advice, “the game rewards longevity” is exactly what I tell them.
Your dream lunch date. One coach. Any sport. Any level. Living or dead. Who is it?
I would probably say Joe Maddon. I love his coaching and communication styles and he’s got a little crazy to him, which I love. His career has spanned across some very different eras of baseball but he has managed to stay at the top and I find that pretty amazing in today’s game.