What do most fresh out of college 23-year-olds in America do once they are forced to leave the carefree atmosphere they have lived in for the past four years?
Most 23-year-olds wouldn’t be prepared to take on a locker room full of guys that are currently living in the environment he just moved on from, but they are not Pat Brown.
Brown is the most recent addition to the Bloomsburg baseball coaching staff that saw two of its members leave this past offseason. Brown will be tasked with the pitching staff.
Brown grew up in the harsh climate of Syracuse, NY. Even though the weather wasn’t always ideal for baseball, Brown’s family is the definition of a “baseball family” and had him in love with it from an early age.
“It was always something I’ve played since I was five years old. My dad had a strong passion for the game, my uncle played baseball at Florida State, my cousin coaches at Vanderbilt, so my whole family really loved the game of baseball,” Brown said. “It’s just the way it was growing up.”
After playing high school baseball in Syracuse, Brown decided to go north to play college baseball at division three, Oswego State University.
During his time at Oswego State, Brown knew he wanted to get into coaching once he was out of college. When he was redshirting his sophomore year, Brown wanted to help out the team as best as he could while he was hurt. Since Oswego didn’t really have another assistant coach, Brown stepped up and helped out anyway he could. It was at this point that Brown decided that coaching was for him.
“When I saw what our new coach did when he came in my sophomore year, and I witnessed what he did with the program, where he was taking it and how much fun he was having doing it, I realized that this is what I wanted to do,” Brown said.
Brown comes into Bloomsburg as the youngest pitching coach in school history, and even though some people were surprised that he was already a pitching coach at a division two school, he feels that he is ready and that this is exactly where he needs to be to start his coaching journey.
Much of the credit in finding Brown goes to Huskies head coach Mike Collins. The pitching coach job at Bloomsburg is a commitment to say the least. The position is unpaid and in order to be hired, the coach also has to take classes at the university and get their masters degree. Brown will be getting his exercise science masters from the university. The job is perfect for young, ambitious guys that are just looking to get their foot in the door into the world of college baseball coaching and that shone through when Collins met with coach Brown.
“We ask these guys that interview to submit a pitching philosophy and his was right in line with what we’ve had over the last two years, which I was pumped about,” said Collins. “He had the information, an in-depth knowledge of it and could communicate it well with confidence. His maturity is obvious, and we wanted a guy that could communicate with these guys in a positive way and we feel like we have that in coach Brown.”
The season is only about two weeks old, but coach Brown is adjusting quickly to his new role and is learning to manage guys that are only a few months younger than him.
“I’ve been very surprised with how good the players have been,” Brown said. “Getting along with your players I believe is the best thing you can do as a young coach when you come in and get hired.” Brown added, “I think that was something Coach Collins accounted for, and I believe that he knew they had a good group of guys that would respond to it well and it’s been perfect so far.”
His current players agree.
Senior pitcher, Alex Carpenter, who has gone through three pitching coaches in four years, said, “Coach Brown is very laid back but knows what he’s talking about. He gives us the tools to improve and he doesn’t baby us. He’s upfront and truthful with what we need to do to get better and ultimately win games.”
Fellow senior, Ryuta Amaike, has liked what he’s seen from Brown so far. “He understands us really well and does not like to stay on top of us. I’m not saying prior coaches didn’t but I think it helps that he is young. He expects us to get better on our own by providing us with tools that we can use on our own,” said Amaike.
Finally, Sean McCloskey, the eldest member of the team said, “He has made the transition for returning players easy by allowing us to do things we like before he got here, while also implementing things he wants us to do.”
The relationship may still be in the honeymoon stage, but the marriage between Bloomsburg baseball and their new pitching coach seems to be off to a strong start.