Kevin CooneyApril 24, 2008


CBI Loses Its Coach


By Sean Ryan Co-Founder

Since 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 college baseball.

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 look. 

What we got was a sample that would have made any English teacher proud.

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 Mary Beth.

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 bike.

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.

Thank you.