The Maroon

Coach needs time to make program his own

HASANI+GRAYSON
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Coach needs time to make program his own

HASANI GRAYSON

HASANI GRAYSON

The Maroon

HASANI GRAYSON

The Maroon

The Maroon

HASANI GRAYSON

HASANI GRAYSON

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After getting a thorough beat down from #1 Lee University this weekend, it’s clear that Loyola’s first-year head coach will need more time to make the program competitive.

Considering the team hasn’t finished above .500 in conference since 2005 asking for another two or three years for the program to become competitive may seem a bit ridiculous, but new coaches will always need time to make a program their own.

Loyola has a record of 2-19 in the SSAC and an overall record of 9-31. The conference tournament is out of reach this season, and it would be easy to look at this season as another disappointment.

This season was going to be a rough transitional year as Faust looks to change the culture of Loyola’s baseball program. Under the leadership of Gerald Cassard, Loyola went 82-171 over a five-year span. That’s the kind of record that will leave a school looking for a coach to make the team worth traveling to Westwego to see play. Since it’s a 30 minute drive to get out to Loyola’s baseball field, maybe an increased attendance is too much to ask for but getting deep into the conference tournament is not out of the question for this program in the near future.

Faust, even in the midst of a rough season, is still trying to see which combination of players worsk best for his team. The fact that a lot of players on the roster have gotten a chance to play shows that this year’s squad is deep but lacking in a true leader on the field outside of right fielder Karson Cullins.

However, it should only get better from here for Faust and Loyola baseball. With the players he recruits for next season, Faust will be able to approach the recruits he wants instead of the ones targeted by his predecessor.

This is not to say that Faust will have to wait for every one of Cassard’s players to clear out before the program can be competitive. The experience of watching the current roster play for a year will help him judge their strengths and weaknesses so the late season position battles can be avoided in 2014.

Speaking as someone who has walked into class and seen the professor pass out an exam I wasn’t prepared for because I looked at the wrong date on the syllabus, I know that figuring things out on the fly is not fun.

Faust has at least studied the game long enough that he can take this season on with little preparation, but being handed another coach’s team months before the season opener was a tough assignment.

It’ll be a while before Loyola can hang with a program like Lee, a team so good I wonder why their players are playing baseball for free when they could go pro. But if this coaching staff can take a different approach than what’s been done the past seven years maybe we can make the semi-pros at Lee sweat a little bit.

Hasani Grayson has been covering baseball as a staff write for two years for The Maroon.

Grayson can be reached at [email protected]

 

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