Dustin Coffman is in his fourth 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 was again this past 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 2013 season as he did through the 2012 Cape Cod campaign.


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Sept. 11, 2012




A few years back when I first got into coaching, I had three of my best players get into a fight at a party the night we were supposed to leave for the conference tournament. One of the guys was an All-American and high draft pick, I’ll never forget I called my old coach and told him how disappointed I was. He said, “Get used to it. That is how coaching is. You are going to be let down over, over, and over again, but those few times you’re not is worth all the pain and anguish”


We had a late afternoon scrimmage Sunday afternoon and it was everything it was supposed to be. Guys had good energy, hustling, playing hard, good offense and good defense. I walked out to my car thinking to myself, “Yes! I’m doing something good with my life. This is great. These kids get it.” Ha-ha sure enough, back to reality yesterday. The way a Wabash Valley baseball practice works is we usually get to the field, hitters do stations, we run, stretch, condition, and get into practice. Yesterday from the moment we got to the field, actually the moment we had study table, I just had a bad vibe. We have a few guys trickling in late to study table, our focus was not where it needed to be for hitting, and our guys just went through the motions with the conditioning.


I have really learned about the concept of momentum this year, making sure you take care of every little detail in your day, because if you let up it can get you off track. This is my fourth year coaching and I really believe I have learned patterns. I can almost tell if today is going to be a good practice, or if this hitter/pitcher is going to perform well, or if this kid is going to make it here. Every single kid we recruit at Wabash Valley always says “I want to be a Division I player” or “I want to be a draft.” This year I really don’t listen anymore, I just watch. Right now, four weeks in, I really think I know who is going to have a big year. I really believe I know who is going to struggle, and I know who probably won’t make it past semester. “I can't hear what you're telling me. I'm too busy watching your actions.”


I teach two Intermediate Algebra classes here at the college and we had our first test yesterday. As I’m grading the tests, the kids that show up every day, with a good attitude, participate, ask questions, do their homework, and take notes did pretty well. While I’m grading these papers I thought about some of our players who have been performing well in our scrimmages, and some of the best players I have coached. It’s funny, it’s a cliché but at that moment it really hit me, PEOPLE GET WHAT THEY DESERVE! If you want to get a good grade in my class, you’ll find a way. If you want to be a good hitter, you’ll find a way to make it happen. If you want to throw good BP, you’ll find a way. There are no secrets in this world, it just comes down to what K-Long said this summer, “Are you willing to pay the price?”






(photos courtesy of Dustin Coffman)