The moment you first realized that you might like to make coaching part of your career.
The moment I realized that I was going to make coaching a career was when I had the opportunity to coach a 14u travel team out of Nashville. I was fresh out of playing and still had the drive for baseball and everything baseball. After the season I was hooked. Watching those kids enjoy the game and get better at baseball made me realize I wanted to pursue coaching.
Outside of mentors, talk about one or more ways you’ve learned some aspect of coaching.
I’ve always liked the teaching aspect of coaching. With baseball — and learning the game from so many great coaches I had growing up in California — it was easy for me to “teach” or coach the game. Baseball is such a dynamic sport and there is always something new to learn and study. I’m always taking notes and writing stuff down. As a player, I was always paying attention and watching the other teams that we were playing, trying to figure out what their game plan was. I loved breaking down hitters and pitchers to help my teammates win.
Best career or work advice you ever received.
When I first got into coaching at the high school level, I was privileged enough to be connected with the Vanderbilt staff. At the time it consisted of Tim Corbin, Derek Johnson, Josh Holliday, and Larry Day. I was a sponge when I was around those guys. Gaining as much knowledge of the game and what they did to prepare their teams. Tim Corbin told me that I would never coach a “Steven Brown”, so whatever made me a better player won’t necessarily work for someone else. That’s why you have to teach kids in different ways of playing the game of baseball. Having standards is better than rules inside your program. Always bringing the energy and passion for the game and players will feed of that.
What is one thing you didn’t know (or fully understand) about what coaches do before you got into coaching?
Recruiting, recruiting, and recruiting. I had no idea how much this plays in the college game. I’m thankful that when I got into college coaching I was thrown into the fire when it came to recruiting. I pride myself on hitting the road and finding the best players that fit our program and what we are trying to accomplish. I love coaching kids from all over the country, helping them pursue their dreams and preparing them for success in life.
Your dream lunch date. One coach. Any sport. Any level. Living or dead. Who is it?
Don Meyer. He was such a great coach and teacher. He spoke at the ABCA convention and I was locked in the second he was on stage. He talked about practice plans and on the court on off the court issues. Dealing with kids and their problems and setting them up for the future of success. He was amazing, and that was the only time I have ever seen a coach get a standing ovation at the ABCA. The best part was, he was a basketball coach!