With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning and down by two runs against Lock Haven University, Bloomsburg University’s clean-up hitter hit a home run to tie the game. At that moment head coach Mike Collins raised his fist in excitement at his team’s comeback to send the game into extra innings. The moment exemplified how selfless and strong-minded Collins is. He believes his proudest moments throughout his coaching career only occur during the success of his players. He coaches the Bloomsburg University baseball team with passion, determination, and enthusiasm.
Collins played baseball at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and obtained a bachelors degree in education with certification in secondary social studies. After his playing career ended at St. Joseph’s University, Collins was named the assistant coach at Keystone College for one year. The following year he was named the head coach for the Giants. Although the position was part time, he was the admissions counselor for three years. He then became the assistant director for admissions and then assistant athletic director the following two years.
As Collins saw his players leave Keystone Community College’s two-year baseball program for other four-year schools to finish their playing careers, he began to make strong relationships with head coaches from all over the nation. With the connections he had, Collins interviewed and was named a full time assistant coach for Binghamton University in New York.
The program had moved from Division 3 to Division 1. He worked as the hitting and infield coach as well as the recruiting coordinator for the Bearcats. Four years after the program became division 1, the team reached the America East playoffs. One of his first signees at Binghamton University is now one of the top pitching prospects for the Atlanta Braves organization in Major League Baseball.
Even though Collins had other job opportunities after college, he still chose to coach baseball at the college level. He took this opportunity because of his enormous passion for baseball.
He spoke about his coaching experiences, “I wanted to coach because enjoy working with college age athletes and I love baseball” said Collins.
Coaching at the high school level and coaching at the collegiate level differ significantly.
He explained the differences, “I like the recruiting process of college baseball and having the ownership of the team” said Collins.
Unlike college baseball, high school baseball consists of the players who come out to play for the team. College baseball consists of the players the coach recruits for his team.
As a current player under Coach Collins I have experienced his hard work and determination first hand. He is fair and upfront with his players and would do as much as possible to help his athletes succeed either in baseball, college or life. His practices are thorough and demanding as he expects only the team’s best efforts to get better each day. During games he is positive and motivating as he ensures the team no matter what the circumstance may be, that there is always an opportunity to win the baseball game.
Collins’ father was a major influence in his decision to stick with coaching. As he started coaching at Keystone College his father encouraged him to stick with his goals of being a successful collegiate coach.
His family is a major part of Collins’ life. He and his wife are in the process of adopting two boys, ages five and four. He will teach his children the same principles he uses to inspire his baseball team as a role model, coach, and parent.
For more information on Coach Mike Collins and the Bloomsburg University baseball team, visit its website at http://www.buhuskies.com.