You played at The Citadel and earned a degree from College of Charleston, and you are now in your sixth season with the Cougars. Any mixed emotions when the Bulldogs face the Cougars as they do this weekend?
“I would not say mixed emotions, because I definitely want to win anytime we play anybody. To me, it’s always been fun to play The Citadel and to see coach (Fred) Jordan in the other dugout, and (assistant coach) David Beckley and now (pitching coach) Britt Reames. They are good friends of mine, and when you compete against your friends, it makes it more fun. For this series, I think the guys in both dugouts have a little bit more energy because we get more fans at the games. To me, it’s just a lot of fun.”
Do any of your Bulldog buddies give you a hard time?
“You know what, when I first started coaching, they did a little bit. But now I’m into my sixth year and we’ve played them every year, I don’t hear much unless they beat us. A couple of years ago, they swept us and I heard a lot of talk then. But as long as we win, they don’t give me too much of a hard time.”
How did you end up at College of Charleston after your pro career ended?
“After I got done playing, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. I had another semester to finish to get my degree, so I got that from College of Charleston. I graduated that December and I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do, just like any college graduate. I wanted to get into coaching to kind of give back everything I learned in pro ball, and (Cougars coach) John Pawlowski gave me a chance. I love Charleston and didn’t want to leave, so when Monte (Lee) kept me on after coach Pawlowski left, it was a blessing.”
What do you love about coaching?
“The guys keep you young. You are able to stay around the game that you love. I grew up playing this game my whole life, and being around a bunch of 18- to 21-year-olds, they keep you young in everything you do. I feel like a little kid at heart, so it’s fun to be outside with a baseball.”
Playing for Fred Jordan and working for John Pawlowski and Monte Lee, do you feel like you are learning a lot?
“Oh yeah. Any time in this game, or in work or in life, you want to be associated with good people. I’ve been lucky enough to have three good coaches who have helped me learn baseball and to grow as a person and as a man.”
Do you want to run your own program one day?
“I’d love to be a head coach one day. When that is, I can’t answer that question. I think we have a good thing here at College of Charleston. When you are able to work with a guy who is not just your boss but your friend, that makes it more fun.”
Compiled by Jeff Hartsell