Centre College – Danville, Kentucky
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Education: Asbury University
Email: taylor.valentine [at] centre.edu
The moment you first realized that you might like to make coaching part of your career?
The moment I first realized that I wanted to make coaching part of my career was during my Sophomore year at Milligan College (TN) when a professor asked me if I would run a little league baseball camp for the community. At first, I was really nervous because this was my first camp and I wanted it to be perfect. After having 100+ kids show up for the first annul youth baseball camp, I knew this was my calling to be a college baseball coach and help impact young men’s lives on and off the field.
Outside of mentors, talk about one or more ways you’ve learned some aspect of coaching?
Outside of my great mentors, I learn something every year when I attend the American Baseball Coaches Associations and sitting down and meeting new coaches and learning what they do in their program. In this world I think it’s all about people helping people. Another way is working with Team USA and working with some of the top coaches in America.
Your dream lunch date. One Coach. Any sport. Any level. Living or dead. Who is it?
My dream lunch date would be with Atlanta Braves coach Ron Washington. The way he goes about his business and the energy that he brings day in and day out is something that I love. Coach Washington is also an infield coach and to be able to pick his brain to help build my craft as an infield coach.
Name one new thing you want to accomplish this year?
One thing I would love to accomplish for this upcoming season is bring a conference championship to Centre College. Having the opportunity to experience my first conference championship at University of Illinois at Chicago as an assistant coach last year was such an amazing experience. Having chills run down my back watching our guys dog pile and knowing that I was heading to my first NCAA D1 regional. Being with our guys this fall in my first season at Centre, I feel we have the experience and the type of guys to make that happen and I’m excited to watch our guys compete and get after it this spring.
Best career or work advice you ever received?
The best career advice I have ever received was just be yourself and keep following your dreams. This has stuck with me through my coaching journey. Being myself and not trying to be someone who I’m not as allowed me to have success in every program that I have be part of so far.
If you could go back to your rookie coach self and give one piece of advice, what would it be?
The one piece of advice I would have given my rookie coaching self would be to not over coach and always tell the players what to do. It is important to give them good advice on and off the field but the most import thing is to be a good listener and be there for them and show them that you care for them on and off the field and that you love them.
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