Oct. 29, 2012
By Sean Ryan
spending three years as head coach at Maryland, Erik Bakich
(left) has headed north to lead the program at the University of
posted a record of 70-98 with the Terps, including 20-70 in ACC
play. Maryland was 32-24 this past season, nearly earning its
first NCAA tourney berth since 1971.
was an assistant with Tim Corbin at Vanderbilt for seven
seasons, helping build the Commodores into a national power.
From 2008-10, five of his recruits were picked in the first
round of the Major League draft, including pitcher David Price
and third baseman Pedro Alvarez.
A two-year starter at third base
for East Carolina, Bakich began his coaching career as a
volunteer assistant at Clemson.
recently took time to answer our questions.
First Inning – You had
Maryland headed in the right direction. How difficult was it to
leave a team that nearly made the NCAA field a year ago?
It's always difficult to leave a
situation you are fully invested in, especially regarding the
relationships with all the players. They were a tremendous group
of relentless workers who were totally committed.
Second Inning – What
attracted you to the Michigan job?
I was attracted to Michigan
because of the commitment to excellence in every aspect of the
athletic department and University.
Third Inning – You spent a
long time in the SEC and a few years as a head coach in the ACC.
What differences do you anticipate from Big Ten baseball?
The uncontrollable things, like
weather, attendance and facilities might be different, but our
approach to the game and winning every pitch will be the same.
Fourth Inning – Does anything
change with your recruiting goals?
No. We target the most mentally
and physically gifted players in the state, region, and nation.
Fifth Inning – Do you see
Michigan being in a similar situation as Maryland was when you
took over the Terps?
Yes, from the standpoint that
both organizations were underperforming their expectation
levels. The process involves getting the right people on board
combined with a detailed vision of where you’re going.
Sixth Inning – What are some
of your immediate goals for the Wolverines?
The immediate goal is always to
get 1% better every day. The goal for the fall is to create core
covenants and an identity for Michigan baseball that is
consistent with the standard of excellence here.
Seventh Inning – What are
some of the most important things you learned leading a program
for the first time at Maryland that you bring with you to
Everything counts if you are
committed to excellence. Making sure the coffee is hot in the
concession stand is just as important as getting a bunt down.
Eighth Inning – In taking
over a program, do you take what’s there and mold it into your
style, or do you change your style to accommodate what’s there?
The foundation has to be strong
and consistent, and established by the coaching staff. The best
coaches I have seen know exactly what they stand for and the
expectation of the program is clearly defined. That allows the
players to have the best chance to be successful.
Ninth Inning – What
improvements are coming to Michigan’s facilities, and where do
you see the program in five years?
All the facility improvements
are centered around player development, recruiting, and
championships. In five years, Michigan Baseball should be
synonymous with championships in the Big Ten and perennial
(photo courtesy of Michigan Media Relations Office)