Following a few down years after the 2008 College World Series run, The University of Georgia Baseball program needed to find their way back to the top. They needed a fresh reboot, a successful leader, and a coach with some Moxie - Which is why Bulldog Nation was extremely excited when Coach Scott Stricklin decided to wear the Red and Black.
Scott Stricklin, who led his alma mater, Kent State, to five NCAA Regionals and the 2012 College World Series, was named head baseball coach at the University of Georgia on June 3, 2013.
Since arriving at UGA, Stricklin, 42, has created an atmosphere of excitement around the program, starting with the current student-athletes, extending to former lettermen and to Georgia baseball fans around the state.
If you're a high school baseball player looking to be recruited (or a parent of an athlete), how do you stand out from the crowd? What are college coaches looking for on and off the field?
I would visit the schools that I have an interest in and get to know those programs inside and out. Know the coaches, players, academic staff, etc. Have a list of schools and be thorough. Do not limit yourself to one school or level. Look at all of your options and be realistic. The physical attributes are obviously very important but there are a lot of good players out there. What you do away from the field is going to come up - How do you conduct yourself with your friends and teammates, with your parents, and with your coaches? Integrity does matter!
What is your advice to players receiving scholarship offers at an early age?
If you are a good enough player to get offers as a sophomore in high school, then those offers will still be there as a junior. Committing too early in the process can turn out to be a negative thing. If a school thinks that highly of you, they will wait for you to make your decision on your timeline, not theirs. Weigh your options and make sure that when you make the most important decision in your young life, that you make it because you have all the facts and information available.
What kind of In-season routines do you have your players go through at UGA as far as taking care of their bodies?
In season, we will lift at least twice per week and we have a nutritionist that monitors what they (our players) eat. We have pre and post game meals that are chosen because of their nutritional value. Our goal is for our guys to at least maintain their weight throughout the season and actually gain mass and lose body fat. It takes a lot of dedication from the player to make this happen.
You've had a successful coaching career at Georgia Tech, Kent State and you already have things cooking at Georgia. What are your "key ingredients" to building a championship team?
1. Finding the players that share the same goals as you and are willing to sacrifice to reach those goals.
2. Staying consistent with our plan. This is a marathon and not a sprint. In order to build a program you have to do it with patience.
3. Establishing an atmosphere that’s focused on success in every way. On and off the field we want players that will compete to win at everything they do while doing things the right way.
We want to thank Coach Stricklin for taking the time to share his knowledge with us. If you're in the Athens area this week, be sure to go see the Bulldogs take on Georgia Tech during the midweek, and Vanderbilt this weekend.
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