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
Coffman will share his thoughts throughout the
2013 season as he did through the 2012 Cape Cod campaign.
for other journal entries
May 1, 2013
“The accumulation of little things is not
of you have seen that quote before in my previous blogs, but here and now is
where you are starting to see it with your club. Remember all the time you spent
recruiting, making calls, campus visits, driving all over the country to see
potential “GUYS.” Do you remember asking about the kid’s make-up, if he worked
hard, had a good attitude? Well, what you heard back then is what you are seeing
right now. Do you remember how detailed your practice plans were and how much
energy you put into each and every day? That’s probably what you are seeing
right now. Do you remember all the early morning lifts and conditioning your
team did and does to stay in shape? That’s what you are probably seeing right
now the Warriors have three regular season games left. Unbelievable! Three
regular season games left and it’s tournament time. I love this time of year.
This is when you really start to learn about someone’s make-up, when you are 50
games into the season. How’s the kid doing academically? How’s the kid’s body
holding up? How much energy is he bringing to practice? How’s his attitude now
that he’s succeeding or sitting? To me this is it; this is when you can clearly
see what your players and team are all about. Do you have kids that shut it down
when they are tired or face adversity? Or do you have a bunch of grinders that
no matter how many times they get knocked down keep getting up? When you have a
group of grinders cherish every moment, because in my brief coaching career it’s
been very difficult to find players, let alone an entire team, that are willing
have a RHP from Miami who didn’t travel the first two weeks of the year. If you
see him pitch he will not wow you with velocity or devastating secondary stuff,
but he will show up on every pitch and compete his balls off. When we have field
duties, Ryan is meticulous with the job he has working on the field. When we do
dorm checks, his room is always the cleanest. When we lift weights, his
technique is the best and he gets every single rep. In our fall World Series, I
had him close out Game 1. He hung a breaking ball to Cole Gleason that still has
not landed and we lost the game. In the final game of the series I brought Ryan
back to face Gleason with the bases loaded, two outs, up by one in the bottom of
the ninth. Everyone thought I was crazy, but after hanging around “Lobster Land"
the last two summers and being around guys with Ryan’s make-up, I knew he’d get
it done and he did. Now the low to mid-80’s guy is the closer on a staff that
has six Division I arms that all throw in the 90’s.
It’s guys like Ryan that keep the coaching fire lit inside me. It
has really helped me over the past few years to see the pattern of the underdogs
at the beginning of the year who kept working and take over in the end when it
counted. No matter how much the underdog is playing or not playing, he shows up
and does what he’s supposed to do. I really feel like we as a society have it
wrong when we are recruiting a kid, hiring somebody, or dating somebody. So
often we look for the big 90 mph fastball, the devastating breaking ball, the
big power numbers, the coach that has the big name attached to him, or the girl
with all the “tools,” but we tend to forget the most important part. It’s a
marathon not a sprint!
(photos courtesy of Dustin Coffman)