CBI Loses Its Coach
By Sean Ryan
Since CollegeBaseballInsider.com started
in 2002, we've asked a lot of coaches and assistant coaches what
they like or dislike about the site.
One of the things we've heard most: We love Cooney's stuff.
Despite a few 3,500-word novels that have kept us working late
into the night - and morning - we concur. Coach Cooney's journal
has been one of the staples in our coverage of Division I
We get asked how we got him by coaches who either 1) think he
actually writes his journal in between pop-up showers and
jet-streams that turn games in Boca into football scores 2)
think he listens to just a little too much Springsteen or 3)
that he's crazy for exposing himself and his program to other
college baseball coaches and fans. Heck, Cooney's journal is
better than any scouting report.
The way we got him is simple. He asked.
In our formative years, we had the idea to include player and
coach journals. Ryan Johnson, a former star at Wake Forest who
works for Baseball America these days, and Steve Englert,
an assistant coach at Boston College, were our guinea pigs. We
thought it would be cool to have a head coach, but to be honest,
we were a little afraid to ask.
Cooney sent me an e-mail, telling me that he wrote a journal for
the Florida Atlantic Web site, and if we wanted, we'd run it on
our site. Um, that would be just fine, thanks. We'll take a
What we got was a sample that would have made any English
It feels like Cooney has written about 1,000 journals for us
over the past five years. Stories about players making the tough
decision to leave school, players' parents dying, players
getting married, players making the bigs, former coaches, former
teachers, first trip to Louisiana-Lafayette, road trips,
trainers, umpires, APR, Bruce, Clary, Dad, Mom, Maggie, Luke and
The journals were raw, rife with emotion. And entertaining.
What made them special was that many of them had more to do with
life than baseball. Like the one this year where he asked for
gear to be sent to twin 9-year-olds whose father Chuck was
tragically killed when he was hit by a car while riding his
Cooney reminded us that baseball is a game. And in that game, we
can learn a lot about life.
Coach, we're grateful to the countless hours you've spent
writing your prose. We think we speak for many when we say we
can't thank you enough for your efforts and friendship. Here's
hoping you go out this season on a high note, that the tractor
never runs out of gas and that the fishing is fine in Tennessee.