Dustin Coffman is completing his third year of coaching college baseball. He began his coaching career as a student manager at Indiana University in 2009 and was promoted the following year to volunteer assistant. Coffman spent the 2010 summer in the Coastal Plain League with the Edenton Steamers, who finished Top 5 in the country. From Edenton, Coffman took his first paid position at Wabash Valley College. Over the past two seasons, the Warriors have compiled a 93-30 record and have been ranked as high as No. 3 in NJCAA baseball. In summer 2011, Coffman was hired to be an assistant baseball coach with the Bourne Braves in the storied Cape Cod League where he will return this summer.


A native of Granger, Ind., Coffman earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Indiana in 2009 and is working on a master’s degree in applied sports studies from IU.


Coffman will share his thoughts throughout the 2012 Cape Cod season.


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August 1, 2012


Baseball Guys


Right now the Bourne Braves are 13-22 and sit in last place in the Western Division. It’s been a long summer and year for both players and coaches.


I think this is a critical time for each of us; this is the time of the year when you really learn what somebody is really all about. This is when you really learn about yourself. Like Kevin Long said, "How bad do you want it?" It’s so easy to say I want to play pro ball or I want to be a D-I head coach, but this is a test. Are you willing to grind it out? This is the time of year when players in the league start to shut it down, I’m hurt, I’m going to go home, my fastball doesn’t have the same life it had earlier in the year, I better shut it down, I’ve accomplished what I’ve needed to accomplish, or I miss my girlfriend. Ha-ha. That’s one reason the Cape All-Star Game is so late in the summer to hopefully keep kids here.


You always hear that this guy is a good player, this guy works hard, this guy is tough, the guy loves baseball, but this is when you can really tell. Before the players got here, most of them played around 60 games with seasons starting back in February, now we are 35 games into the Cape season where every night you are facing the best of the best. So most of us now today have been involved in about 95 games since February. No matter how much you love baseball, it’s a lot. From the freezing weather of February to the 100-degree July days, practices, rain outs, fog outs, travel, and oh yeah, the off days (ha-ha what’s that?) It’s a grind, and as I have commented time and time again in my blogs it has really been beaten into my head the importance of having high make-up kids. “Baseball Guys”


I think it’s amazing the evolution I have had in the way I look at our players, and I’m sure everyone in the league experiences this. You get to the field the first day and you see all these big-time prospects, with unbelievable speed, big-time arms, and guys hitting balls into the lights during batting practice. You hear what so-and-so did this year, or how much this guy got offered, or what this guy’s velocity is, and it really excites you. You get this picture in your head what it’s going to be like. But in my brief three-year coaching career, it has never once panned out the way I thought it would. You are always surprised good and bad. Now 35 games into it, most of those guys didn’t show up, are gone, or didn’t really do anything (except Colin Moran). It’s really cool to see guys like Tyler King, Jaron Long, Mason Robbins, Austin Wynns, Mike Ahmed, Colin Moran etc. who I can tell are soaking up every minute of being here. It’s not a grind to them, it’s their life. It’s really cool to see a guy like Hawtin Buchanan ,who when he got here from Ole Miss looked like a deer in the head lights with no confidence, now he’s sitting 94-96 closing for the Braves. He has the look, same look Moran has, same look Travis Jankowski had, they know pay day is coming. I think it’s really cool to see a guy like pitcher Shane Taylor, who in his first few outings couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat, now he’s putting together strong outings. Jack Reinheimer, who I figured would be a solid backup infielder, is now one of our top hitters and everyday shortstop. (Shows what I know)


For a coach with a 13-22 record you would think I’d be miserable, cutting my wrist, or wanting to go jump off the Bourne Bridge. But I don’t, I feel amazing, I feel proud because I know myself as well as everyone else involved in the team has put ourselves in a position to be successful. Every day we show up, we work hard, and we learn. We learn about baseball, people, life, and most importantly, ourselves. How bad do you want it?






(photos courtesy of Dustin Coffman)