Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?
First and foremost, we are looking for talented baseball players, who will help us win games. Outside of talent and athleticism, we look for hard working, self-motivated players. Much of the time our guys spend getting ready for the season is done outside of the dates we are allowed to practice and when the players are at home for winter break. We need players who are willing to put in the necessary time, when the coaches aren’t there to supervise. Last, and certainly not least, we are looking for good kids, who aren’t going to make poor decisions off of the field, and who will represent our program well academically, and within the college as a whole.
Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?
We had a walk-on player my second year here, who finished his senior year as a team captain and as our most consistent pitcher. He would be the first to tell you that he wasn’t the most athletically gifted, but his work ethic was second to none. Through his 4 years on campus, he changed the culture of our program through his own actions, and set the tone for the players who have followed. One example that comes to mind: During his senior year, a few of our freshmen had made some poor decisions regarding alcohol. Without me saying a single word to him, he called a team meeting following our practice and told the team, that their behavior was unacceptable, and not how we do things within our program. He then told him that they were to all get their running shoes and that they wouldn’t stop, until he did. As a team, they ran close to 7 miles following a pretty rigorous practice, and the guys were well behaved the rest of the season. He is a great example of the kind of kid we are looking for.