by Keith Madison
One of the very special benefits of coaching athletes at any level include the friendships developed among the coaching fraternity and with former players. Two of my most cherished relationships are featured in this edition of Inside Pitch. Jan Weisberg is currently experiencing great success as a head baseball coach at Birmingham-Southern College. I think of him as a former player who excelled as a clutch hitter and later as one of my assistant coaches while at Kentucky. More importantly, I think of him as a loyal friend.
Another good friend mentioned in this edition is Jerry Kindall. Jerry was introduced to me by another coaching legend and good friend, Mark Johnson. The three of us served on the American Baseball Coaches Association Board together for many years. As board members, we would always spend quality time together at the ABCA Convention and the College World Series each year. Every time we would get together, we could count on sharing baseball stories, catching up on families and much laughter.
Coach Mike Gillespie is another coaching legend and friend who is featured in this issue of Inside Pitch. Mike ranks among the very best of a respected group of west coast coaches. Mike’s career has not only garnered numerous championships and accolades, but he has also mentored and inspired many coaches all along the west coast, and nationwide. You will enjoy Senior Editor Adam Revelette’s interview with Coach Gillespie.
Team building, teaching, competition and impacting player’s lives are important dynamics in coaching, for sure; but if you don’t take advantage of the relationship opportunities in our profession, you will be missing out on a special gift that the coaching profession provides. I cherish the friends such as Jerry Kindall, Mark Johnson, Jan Weisberg, Mike Gillespie and many others. It’s just another reason we call baseball the “Great American Pastime.”
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