Oct. 15, 2013


Meet Longwood's Brian McCullough

By Sean Ryan

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder

sean@collegebaseballinsider.com @collbaseball


Replacing a legend never is easy. At Longwood, Brian McCullough is up for the challenge.


McCullough replaces Buddy Bolding, who built the Lancers program from scratch and retired after 35 years and more than 950 wins. The only coach Longwood has known until now, Bolding guided the program from Division III to Division II to Division I Independent to its current membership in the Big South Conference. He led the Lancers to six Division II tourney appearances, including two trips to the Division II College World Series.   


McCullough, 28, wasn’t even born when Bolding started at Longwood but got plenty of experience under the former coach – he went 20-14 with a 3.56 ERA in 329 innings (school record) and 258 strikeouts (school record) playing for Bolding and spent the past four years as an assistant at Longwood. Most recently, he was the recruiting coordinator and pitching coach.


First Inning - You’re replacing a legend in Buddy Bolding. How daunting is that?
It’s a great honor to be replacing someone with his success and experience. Longwood baseball has only had one coach in its 35-year history, so to have the opportunity to lead the program into the future is going to be amazing.


Second Inning - What are some of the most important things you’ve learned coaching under Bolding?

I have learned that there is no substitute for hard work and sacrifice to become the best player and person you can become. He also taught me that you build a program with quality people, and I want to continue to keep in contact with our past alumni and players during this exciting time in Longwood Baseball.


Third Inning - How was playing for Bolding similar to coaching with him? How was it different?

Coach made me work for everything that I earned as a player and he was no different as my boss. Before being given the reins to certain aspects of the program, I had to prove to him that I could do the job not only well, but also to his standard, and I thank him for that.


Fourth Inning - Aside from age, what are some differences that you’ll bring to the Lancers?

Last year, Coach began to give me more freedom to set up the program to prepare us for the Big South so that this year would not be a big difference in the routine for our players and coaching staff. We were able to hit the ground running this fall because of this and we have not changed much from last year.


Fifth Inning - At 28, you’re one of the youngest head coaches in the country. How does that help you and how might that hurt you?
I am a firm believer in getting your work in every day and I try to pass this along to our players through example by showing up every day and working hard with them. 


Sixth Inning - How has the move to the Big South changed things for Longwood?

The move has created more school spirit amongst current students and alumni. We are very excited that our program is able to play for a Regional spot every year, and that helps with recruiting and scheduling, as well.

Seventh Inning - Sum up the Lancers’ first year in the Big South, including the nice run in the league tourney?
The first year was a learning experience for us, and I believe our players caught on quickly. We played some of our best baseball in the Big South Tournament and beat two really good clubs to make it to the semifinal game. We reached our main goal of the season and that was to make the eight-team tournament.


Eighth Inning - What are some of your biggest challenges as you enter your first year as a head coach?

Ordering our new jerseys for this spring. I have the tough decision of either keeping the old-style jerseys or doing away with them. 

Ninth Inning - What are some of the Lancers’ biggest strengths entering 2014?
Our team chemistry is very strong and we all work together well to get better each day. We have a very experienced senior class and we like our pitching matchups on the weekends.


(photos courtesy of Longwood Media Relatons)