February 11, 2014
Feature on New Coaches in the Horizon
Nine Innings with
Valpo's Brian Schmack
Innings with Greg Lovelady
By Sean Ryan
After serving on Rob Cooper’s staff for the past
nine seasons, Greg Lovelady was elevated to head coach when
Cooper accepted the head coaching position at Penn State.
Lovelady was associate head coach for the Raiders
for the past seven years. He was pitching coach and recruiting
coordinator. Lovelady helped WSU earn Horizon League crowns and
NCAA bids in 2006, 2009 and 2011.
A four-year letterman at Miami (Fla.), Lovelady
was a catcher for the Hurricanes and helped them capture
national titles in 1999 and 2001. He was a captain on the 2001
Lovelady recently took some time to answer our
First Inning – Describe what Rob Cooper has
meant to your coaching career. What are some things you’ve
learned that will help you as a head coach?
owe almost everything in my career
to Coop. He took a chance on me when I was young and green and
gave me a ton of autonomy to go out and coach and recruit the
way I wanted to. He put a lot of trust in me and that gave me a
lot of confidence to do my job. He also taught me how to be a
great father and husband and that is more important than
anything else he taught me. His ability to teach the mental
part of the game and provide the players a blueprint for success
outside of their physical tools is an amazing thing he instilled
in me and something that I will forever be grateful for.
Second Inning – What are some of the Raiders’
strengths heading into the season?
We have a very veteran club on both sides of the
ball and great leadership from the older guys. I think the
number of quality returners with experience is going to be an
advantage for us. If we stay healthy I think our depth is a
positive as well.
Third Inning – Why do former catchers make
Catchers are always in the middle of everything,
even when an outfielder is being coached we are usually in ear
shot. When the pitchers are throwing pens we are in ear shot.
I believe the best catchers have to be smart and because of that
you absorb a ton of information about a lot of things other than
catching and can process it so quickly, which then provides a
huge advantage going into a coaching career.
Fourth Inning – What are a few of your fondest
memories about winning two national titles while a catcher at
I grew up at Mark Light Stadium so being able to
be a part of the team was a big deal for me. Then getting to
achieve the ultimate if front of a fan base you used to be a
part of and being the starting catcher in both games was
amazing. The guys on the team were unbelievable to be around
and we were all so motivated to be great that it was a special
group to compete with. Everything to do with Rosenblatt Stadium
was an amazing memory.
Fifth Inning – Jim Morris… What was it like
playing for him, and how did he shape you as a player and coach?
3 was easy to play for as long as you worked
hard. He stayed out of our way, gave us the space and ability
to compete with each other every day. He was constantly
reminding us of what we were there to do and provided us the
leadership we needed to handle all circumstances. His in game
ability to make the right moves every time and his usage of the
bullpen are things that I have always been amazed at and
something I have been able to learn from.
Sixth Inning – When recruiting catchers, what
are three things you look for?
The first thing I always look for is leadership
from a catcher. He has to run the staff and the team in a way
that rubs off on others in a positive manner. I then look to
his receiving skills and his mobility and finally his release
and how quick and manageable it is.
Seventh Inning – How about pitchers, since
you’ve been the Raiders’ pitching coach? What are three things
you look for?
Competitiveness, ability to throw strikes, and
Eighth Inning – Wright State has had a lot of
recent success. What things do you tweak, and what things do you
keep the same?
I was here from Day 1 with Coop to build the
foundation of what we have accomplished the last nine years, so
most of the foundation I helped lay and there isn’t much to
change. I am just going to take what Coop did and build on top
of it. Keep the growth and success upward and instill my
passion and energy for the game. I have a great staff that I
know matches my energy and enthusiasm not only for the game of
baseball but for Wright State University.
Ninth Inning – How does Wright State get back
into the NCAA tournament?
Embrace each day as an opportunity to compete
against ourselves and maximize our ability at the end of the