This week we’re talking to Rusty Stroupe (pronounced Strap) of Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. As we’ll find out, many things in his orbit are not pronounced the way they’re spelled (see Chair’-a-vul). Coach Stroupe is no stranger to success. In addition to his winning way during his coaching years, he was also a member of a high school baseball team that won state championships twice. Coach Stroupe is a North Carolina native and has rarely ventured far from home. With the exception of a short foray into South Carolina, he’s stayed pretty close to where it all started.
In this episode, Coach Stroupe talks about his connections with Appalachian State and former guest Kermit Smith, his beginnings at Moresville Junior High School, the work-life balance, the Big South Conference, getting national exposure, what sets baseball apart as a college sport, working his family into the program’s activities, recruiting to a small town, and giving and asking for job recommendations.
- “Baseball is a character sport.”
- “My motivation was not making it to D1. It was what is best for my family.”
- “If there was a history, there needs to be a moment that demonstrates a change in that history” (regarding recruits with “red flags”).
Photo credit: Tim Cowie Photography
Intro Music: Matt’s Blues, Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)