Baseball coach Craig Gibson, who has coached at Mercer for 10 years sat down, with The Cluster to talk about the baseball team’s recent success and the importance of team chemistry. Six crucial seniors will graduate from the team this year.
Cluster: What is a typical day for an NCAA Division I baseball Coach?
Gibson: A typical day during the season starts at 9:00. We just get in and we try to get ready for practice and get ready for the next game and scouting reports. We will have some academic meetings during the week with our guys just to make sure we are going over class attendance and overall everyday activities.
C: What’s your favorite and least part of being a baseball coach?
G: My favorite part is just the interaction with the student athletes. Just getting to know these guys and watching them develop, watching them mature, and just being able to be around them everyday. [My least favorite part] is losing. Losing is a lot tougher than winning. A win goes away pretty good but a loss sort of stays with you longer. It’s not a bad profession but a lot of hours and a lot of time. There is a lot of fulfillment and joy with it too.
C: How do you motivate your players?
G: The guys sort of understand we expect a certain level of success. I think tradition helps. We’ve had success and some guys have certainly helped us when I first got here and we’ve built on that. We are trying to build some talented guys on the field and in the classroom.
C: How is the season shaping out so far?
G: Season is off to a good start we are eight and one right now. We opened down in Sarasota, Fla. and we’ve had games against Ohio State, St. John, and Notre Dame. This is a mature team so we’ve had some of these guys for 5-years and some talented newcomers, but we are off to a good start and we hope to keep playing well and finish on a high note.
C: How do you build the team chemistry on the field?
G: Our seniors have done a great job with that we have six great seniors and this is a great team. They are fun to be around with everyday. We have 32 talented and just really great guys. Chemistry is always an issue when you bring in new people, but I think our seniors sort of pave the way and have just created a great team chemistry this year.
C: What is it going to be like once those seniors graduate? Who is going to fill in those shoes?
G: Our short stop has been with us four-years. He is a special player and person- Evan Boyd. We have a fifth-year senior, David Randall, pitching for us and is one of the best pitchers. David Teasley has been a very good player for us. We’ve added some junior college guys with us. We’ve got Logan Gaines and David Foley, so I think we have some talented juniors who will fulfill those roles. Michael Massi has certainly taken a leadership role. I think Brandon Barker is going to be a guy that leads for us and Chesny Young also has the ability to do that. So I think we have great pieces and they have learned from really good seniors.