Congratulations to American Baseball Coaches Association Board member Tim Corbin on leading his Vanderbilt Commodores to a national championship! It was a historic season for Vandy as they captured the SEC regular season title, the SEC Tournament championship and then the prestigious Division l College World Series crown. Corbin and his players, past and present, are leaving an incredible legacy in college baseball.
Legacies cannot be denied. During the College World Series, there was much talk about the legacy of Florida State head coach, Mike Martin…over forty wins each year in forty years of coaching! There was also a much deserved mention of former Clemson skipper, Jack Leggett (featured in this issue). Not only was Leggett a great coach, he produced a prodigious coaching tree, including Florida’s Kevin O’Sullivan, Vanderbilt’s Tim Corbin and Michigan’s Eric Bakich, among others. I also think of Skip Bertman’s coaching tree including former Alabama coach, Jim Wells and Mike Bianco at Ole Miss. Then there’s Ron Polk who mentored dozens of players, graduate assistants and assistant coaches who became successful leaders of young men at all levels, including John Cohen, Pat McMahon, Steve Weber, Brian Shoop, Buck Showalter, Mark Johnson and on and on. There are other coaching legacies with fabulous coaching trees…John Winkin, Bob Bennett, Augie Garrido, Itchy Jones, John Scolinos and many more.
The impact coaches have on student-athletes and assistant coaches goes far beyond one season, a career or even the game itself. The influence may include future Hall of Fame coaches and players, as well as teachers, doctors, ministers, businessmen and civic leaders, and solid husbands and fathers. The legacy most coaches leave may not be discussed on ESPN and may not receive the accolades of Martin, Bertman, Polk, and Leggett, but the positive influence all coaches from all levels have on our communities must not be taken lightly.
Bob Keeshan (aka, Captain Kangaroo) once said, “Parents are the ultimate role models for children. Every word, movement and action has an effect. No other person or outside force has a greater influence on a child than the parent.” I must say, for those children who participate in sports, the coach is a very close second.
One of the primary goals of Inside Pitch magazine is to equip coaches with the encouragement and the knowledge to lead the next generation of players and coaches so that they may become leaders on the field, in their communities and in their families. It’s a worthy goal that we can all participate in.
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