Kevin Cooney is in his 18th season as head coach at Florida Atlantic
University of the Atlantic Sun Conference and 22nd overall. A former pitching
star at Montclair State, Cooney has led FAU to an average of 46 wins per season
the past six years. He as guided the Blue Wave to a 273-106 record and five NCAA
Regionals in the past six years. This is the second year he has offered his thoughts on
baseball - and other things - for CollegeBaseballInsider.com.
April 3, 2005
A Long Ride Home
The bus ride home after a weekend series is often an enjoyable experience.
Usually, we have played well and board the bus after a full and satisfying meal.
Guys are laughing and getting ready for card games, DVDs or just staking claim
to the best sleeping area.
The coaches are all fat and happy, replaying the various parts of the game
that were special. There is a nice, warm, satisfying feeling on those occasions.
But not so today.
We’re heading home from Jacksonville after dropping the second and third
games of a series that stated out so promising. An extra-inning win Friday
featured some clutch hitting and great relief pitching. We really looked like we
might be getting things in gear.
Coach Fossas said that he sensed a more professional attitude on this trip.
Then we ran into a buzz saw named Neal Frontz. He carved us up Saturday night
in a game that saw us give up two big innings early - a deficit too large to
overcome. We hit some balls real well but either right at a Dolphin fielder, or
close enough for one of them to make a great play. I was disappointed, but felt
we had taken good swings and looked forward to today.
This game was perhaps the most disappointing of the season.
The litany of mistakes is staggering. Mistakes by young players as well as
veterans, from guys playing new positions, to ones played since little league.
These were mainly mental mistakes. They led directly to nearly all of
Jacksonville’s runs. Yet, at the end, we still had a shot. We scored three runs
in the eighth to pull within a run, but JU held on, and we headed for the
It was a locker room reminiscent of that in Campbell three weeks ago. The
only sound was the water in the showers as we tried to wash away the sins of the
The bus is like a tomb. Even the bus driver caught on and turned off his
radio. There is little to feel good about as we roll down I-95, tired, angry and
The hurt of losing is compounded by the way in which we lost, and by the fact
that we have now lost three consecutive conference series. I haven’t looked it
up, but I believe that’s a first since the conference changed from divisions to
a round-robin format in 1999.
Sometimes silence is good for people. We live in a world of constant noise
and stimulation. There’s always someone talking on a cell phone, or playing
their music too loud, or feverishly changing TV channels.
Maybe we need these five hours of quiet to contemplate what just happened.
Perhaps this time will be spent thinking about what transpired, and why. My hope
is that we learn something from this and move forward from here.
The Working Life (3/31/05)
A Good Friday (3/28/05)
St. Patrick's Day on Wheels (3/18/05)
Beware the Ides of March (3/16/05)
Conference Sweep (3/13/05)
Madness and Soaring Eagles (3/11/05)
Viva Las Vegas (3/8/05)
The Rocket, and a Black and Blue Big Ten Weekend (3/1/05)
So You Wanted to Coach (2/21/05)
Mickey was the Story (2/15/05)
The Rocket's Red Glare (2/11/05)
It's a Dog's Life (2/3/05)
'You've Got to Learn to Live with What You Can't Rise Above' (1/31/05)
25 Years of FAU Baseball (1/16/05)
So this is Christmas (12/24/04)
The Graduate (12/8/04)
Thanksgiving in Palm Beach County (11/25/04)
An Empty Seat (11/10/04)
Fall is in the Air (10/21/04)
Hurricane Carmen (9/24/04)
(photo courtesy of FAU Media Relations Office)