Kevin Cooney is in his 17th season as head coach at Florida Atlantic University and 21st overall. Each week, he’ll share some of the highs and lows of running a college baseball program - one that continues to grow as a national power. Cooney, who starred as a pitcher before taking Montclair State to a Division III national title, has guided the Blue Wave to a 226-89 record and four NCAA Regionals the past five years. His 1999 squad won 34 straight games, tying the NCAA mark set by Texas in 1977.



April 8, 2004

The Present and the Past


Well, this weekend we face UCF in a critical conference weekend. It sits at the top of the standings, and we are somewhere in the middle of the pack. A season that started so promising has suddenly become a challenge for us to reach our goals.

The present situation paints us as unlikely candidates to successfully defend the regular season championship we won last season. That is our first goal each year as we work toward the pursuit of a regional appearance. We can still go on and have a great season, but it starts here and now. I told our kids that the key to the season is for us to play hard and to play well this weekend. Winning the series would be great, but I think how we play is more important to carry us through the rest of the way. We are 26-7 with 20 regular season games left and have a good chance to finish strong and be right in the thick of things.

UCF is a great team that is currently playing better than anyone in the state of Florida. Jay Bergman is my vote for the best game coach in our conference, and he has two aces on the mound in Bono and Fox. Our present fortunes are challenging. It should be some weekend in Boca.

The Past

Thirty years ago today, the Minnesota Twins and I parted ways. All the players who have gotten released the past few weeks probably think that their lives are over for good. It seems devastating to be told you can no longer play. Babe Ruth got sold by the Yankees!

I remember how devastated I was at the time. My former father-in-law welcomed me home by telling me that it was for the best, and now I could get a real job. Talk about speaking frankly! It was a dark time for me, and I was bitter toward the world.

But now that my life has continued, I see that things have worked out better than I could ever have hoped. I have encountered so many people who have influenced my life in such a positive way. I truly feel I have been blessed.

April 6th is also an anniversary of the past. My oldest son Jim turned 24!!!! Man, someone is getting old. I was 24 when I was released by the Twins.

My prayer is that his life is half as blessed.




Previous Entries

Held Up Without a Gun (4/5/04)

Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword (3/27/04)

Bye Bye Buckeyes...Hello Dolphins (3/26/04)

A Festive Week Ends in a Wreck (3/22/04)

Spring Break No Day at the Beach (3/16/04)

Baseball is Boring? What are They Smoking? (3/9/04)

Hanging with LaRussa was in the Cards (3/6/04)

Winds of Change (3/1/04)

Washington's Birthday (2/23/04)

Dugout Talks and Scouting Reports (2/21/04)

Not a Happy Valentine's Day (2/16/04)

Opening Weekend (2/9/04)

Almost FAMUs (2/2/04)

FAU Living in Land of Hope and Dreams (1/28/04)


(photo courtesy of FAU Media Relations Office)