The University of Massachusetts (D1) is accepting applications for a Head Baseball Coach. Below is the web site for details.
Well, Coach, what about you?
I’m not skipper material - far from it. Besides, anyone wanting that kind of job in the college baseball environment is welcome to it. Why anyone would ask for the politics of college athletics, booster club medaling, constantly begging for money, a constant parade of prima donnas waltzing through the clubhouse, assistant coaches leftovers from a prior head coach and dealing that those misplaced loyalties, shoe-ins from parents with deep pockets, and a who-you-know drumroll just to survive day to day… NO THIANKS.
College baseball takes a certain kind of man that has a thick skin, a great deal of maturity, and a dynamic personality. I have neither of those qualities. I have been, and still am, ill tempered at times with a short fuse for dedicated failure, and pitchers with a lack of willpower to compete and win. Winning is everything to my purpose, and that will never change.
The University of Massachusetts has had a sterling skipper leading their club by the name of Coach Stone. He is a rarity in college baseball. He has taken that club from barebones at times and built it to be a real ball club. Filling his slot will be a challenge, a real challenge.
Not to mention 11.7 scholarships per team (35 players), the worst ratio in major college sports, forcing coaches to play bidding wars with rival schools based on percentages of scholarships. (we can offer you 20% vs. their 15% scholarship). Today playing college baseball is a full time job, plus study, for peanuts in tuition reimbursement so sometimes you offer money to a recruit and they quit a season in. Or not being able to offer money to a well deserving walk-on because it’s already promised to someone who hasn’t played yet.
My next door neighbor got a scholarship to a local div II school and everyone was all excited, talking to his parent they tell me it amounts to 6K, the school costs 32K a year. His grades weren’t quite good enough to warrant other Merrit money, a way some schools can help out athletes.
Anyway, I think the the lack of money for baseball is making many coaches shy away, not to mention the number of schools dropping their baseball program… Our major state university dropped it’s program almost 10 years ago.
You hit it spot on. Your observations and perceptions do you credit with this posting. Very spot on.
In my later years I scouted all of New England, Upper State New York and some oddball places no one else wanted to go. I absolutely disliked college ball and all the wasted time I’m spent therein. To watch what that environment was like … was very depressing.
The coaching ranks ( that I saw) were a exercise in outright stupidity. Volunteer coaches assuming the ranks of pitching coach yanked my lines especially. Watching these coaching ranks, turnover year after year, did nothing for the hopefuls wanting to up their game and get better. On one occasion I got tossed from my seat after telling a pitching coach - just a few years older that his pitching staff, to be mindful of a youngster tossing his cookies up, behind a dumpster. Went in one ear and out the other. Third inning, the cookie tossing pitcher was in as a reliever.
The blame game was really raw with some of those colleges and universities that I visited. Listening to one coach rag on another was sickening. Job security issues were obvious as was personality pumping, egos, and browbeating looks that served in a supporting role of laughing at people not with them.
Now I will freely admit, on the flip side are the unrealistic assumptions and hopes of parents and families that want their son to get all the chances that are out there. Ok, I would want the same for my son. But, what misses the attention span of these people ( parents and families) are the vary parts of the real world that they themselves live in and the role playing that they have to assume to exist in that real world. Those same things exist in the college game that their son will have to deal with.
I don’t mean to beat this subject to death with negativity, I really don’t. I will be the first to say that I have no experience in the college and amateur environment. I’m just an observer looking in. I’ll also be the first to admit that I probably have this all wrong, and that everything that I just posted is totally incorrect.
With not knowing anything about the environment . I will say your at least half right coach! At least some people can get a small heads up from this and make what they will. If there was one college div, conference, league , d1, d2 juco. What one might be considered great?
I made rather harsh, broad-brushed, opinionated comment(s) that was over the top, and more than likely unfair. There has to be some program(s) that devote considerable time and other resources to quality and quantity. Unfortunately, the programs that I witnessed held the short end of the stick in that regard.
Harebone, to answer your question - the place that I saw that had no frills, no pretense to its place in time, little if any notable fanfare following, was the New York City Central Park League(s). However, with no stats, no publication following (sports writers, commentators, booster clubs, notable alumni, and so forth) it was a hard sell and a disappointing waste of my time to bring any of that talent to anyone’s attention. Kind of ironic in a way. I was using all of my experience and observations to see, right there for the taking, real ball playing talent. Players were there without scholarships, without sponsors of any kind, no big name manufacturers catering players to use this, wear that, etc…
The players that I saw were hard core, tough, gritty, and had that razor edge mentality on and off the field. I particularly liked the attention span while on the bench, or leaning against a rail. No one missed a beat to what was going on.