Aug. 31, 2005
When you first started at Ohio State in 1988, what were your goals for the program, and did you even think you could have the type of success that you have had?
“I wanted to become one of the better programs in the Big Ten; not only be competitive in the Big Ten but be competitive at the national level. I have never done anything I thought I was going to fail at. Everything I do, I try to be successful at.”
What were you the most impressed with when you arrived at Ohio State?
“The biggest thing I was impressed with was the passion and the loyalty of the Ohio State family. In talking to alums and the fans that follow Ohio State athletics, it was very obvious they were passionate just by their actions.”
Most college baseball fans in the north agree that the season should be pushed back, and have a uniform starting date. Do you see this becoming reality anytime soon?
“In the very near future I think you are going to see a national start date to the season. It might not be exactly what baseball people in the North desire, but it is a small step in a positive direction toward addressing the competitive equity issue.”
If the season was moved back, do you think it would be easier to recruit elite athletes to Ohio State and other northern schools?
“To be honest, Ohio State is a type of school that is able to recruit elite athletes. If the season were to be moved back, you might have more high school students from the warm climates wanting to come to Ohio State because it is such a great school.”
How do you feel having a state-of-the-art facility like Bill Davis Stadium has helped your recruiting?
“Having a facility like Bill Davis Stadium is a tangible presence. It shows the school has made a commitment to the sport. Baseball student-athletes are no different than any other student-athlete. They want to play in the best facilities and play in a great environment. Clearly, we have one of the Top 15 facilities in the country.” Do you ever wish college baseball had the same rule as college football, and players had to be out of high school three years before they could turn pro? How would that change the game and how you recruit?
“If the quality baseball player coming out of high school has indicated to us that he wants to sign a pro contract out of high school and miss the college experience, we generally do not recruit them. The Big Ten is the only conference in the country that will not allow its coaches to go over our equivalency of scholarships in the recruiting process. Other conferences have the ability to over-extend and then be at the allowable 11.7 scholarships on the first day of classes.”
How do you see the landscape of college baseball changing with television networks like CSTV and ESPNU now covering more games?
“It has given more exposure to the sport. It is creating a bigger fan base and as more and more people see what a great product college baseball is, the bigger the fan base is going to be and the more support you are going to procure.”
What one person had the biggest impact on your coaching career and why?
“So many people have had an influence, but probably the greatest influence was my dad. He was a former coach himself. He had great integrity and he really had a very conservative, down-to-earth philosophy about life.”
What is the best part about coaching Ohio State baseball?
Working with the young people and watching them mature and grow as a person. Not only watching them develop as a baseball player, but teaching them life lessons off the field is what I hope has a positive affect on them for the rest of their life.”
What is your all-time favorite coaching memory at Ohio State?
“I have had so many of them. I still remember our first Big Ten championship. I remember the team of 1994 that was ranked as high as third in the country that had outstanding talent. I remember the games when we were one and two games from getting to Omaha for the College World Series. I remember playing three games in one day, coming from behind in every game to win a Big Ten tournament championship. Ohio State baseball has had a lot of them that have been very fond memories for me.”