Vanderbilt University - Family

* I originally named this post "Staff". I decided to change it to "Family" when I was almost done because it fits better.

Everybody has been extremely welcoming at Vanderbilt.

While Tim Corbin is the name that most of us know better, Vanderbilt Babseball program is much more than one man, no matter how good he can be.

Let's start with the coaching staff.

Of course, since 14 years, Tim Corbin is the head coach of the Commodores baseball team.
Under his watch, Vanderbilt has a 567-271 record (,677 winning percentage).
Coach Corbin is soft-spoken. He doesn't yell, is a pretty positive but demanding person.
When he talks, people listen. He doesn't have to ask anything to anyone, it's the way it is.
He has some really smart and inspiring ways to lead. 

One of the strengths of coach Corbin, is his ability to surround himself with the right persons.
I received the privilege to witness the coaches meetings, and I have really seen a great team work and a group of people who are taking nothing for granted.

Travis Jewett (left) and Tim Corbin (right) during a coaches meeting

I'll introduce the rest of the staff with what the program is renowned for. The pitchers.

After the departure of Derek Johnson as a Minor League pitching coordinator to the Cubs, then St-John's pitching coach Scott Brown got hired by coach Corbin.
Scott enters his 4th year as a pitching coach and continued the tradition of great pitching at Vanderbilt. He coached Sonny Gray in his final year with the program, he coached Carson Fulmer, Tyler Beede, Walker Buehler, all first round draft picks over the last 2 years.
The number of team strike-outs and ERA (2 straight season team ERA under3,00) have been unprecedented.
If you have a chance to read his bio, please do, it's ridiculous what has been accomplished in just a few years.
As I'm mostly interested in pitching, being around him for those 2 weeks was a real blessing.

The hitting coach of the team is Travis Jewett, who is also entering his 4th year at Vandy.
For those who attended the last ABCA convention in Orlando, you will remember the brilliant lecture he did on hitting. We would sure like to add him to the EBCA Convention line-up some day.
Travis is much more then a hitting coach. He takes care of most of the baserunning drills, first base and outfield play and gets very involved in team offense and some defense too.
Travis is also bringing a lot (I mean A LOT) of energy to the field.
Volunteer assistant Coach Blake Allen (Left) and pitching coach Scott Brown (right) during a coaches meeting.

Blake Allen is the 4th coach on the staff. He just came back last year at Vanderbilt.
The main task of Blake is to take care of the catchers.
He had a 4-year stint at Vanderbilt before moving to Western Kentucky University for 7 years.
He was the hitting coach at first, then took the pitching coach job, having several draftees under his tutelage over those years.
On top of his work with the catchers, Blake helps mostly with the hitters but goes wherever he is needed on a certain day. I would say, he has the more freedom of all the staff.

Of course, the athleticism displayed on the field needs to be developed or at least maintained. That's where Chris Ham, the Baseball Strength and Conditioning coach comes into play.

Chris Ham, using his trainer background to work on soft tissues for one of the pitchers.

Chris has joined Vanderbilt 9 years ago. He was originally a trainer for 7 years before moving in his new role past season.As you see on the picture he also puts his trainer background to help with the recovery of the players.
Chris currently has an intern for the semester. His name is Eric and he helps out for the workouts. Not too bad of a place to intern, I think...

Tracy Campbell is the new athletic trainer, since 2015, after serving as the Commodores' football trainer the previous years.

Garret Walker is the equipment manager for the team. he is always in a good mood and gets people around in a good mood. During my stay in Nashville, coach Corbin gave him the stage in the classroom and he delivered a very strong speech about the Vanderbilt baseball family.

The team managers (Josh, Ben, Jack and Will) are students who are very much part of the team. Their duties consist in helping out Garret, and helping run the practice smoothly. They are the ones who get the field ready, machines, cones, set up before everything starts. 

They also help with practice and scrimmage stats and anything that can make the practice more efficient.
Most of them pursue a career in sports (agent, front office,...) and being part of such a program is a good start.

Finally, Keri and Drew, who are more doing mostly office work (at least when I was there).
Drew is the one person who helped me arrange all my trip. He was a catcher for the Commodores and has been directing baseball operations since then.

Let's not forget the players. Of course the athleticism of those players is off the charts. But they are also great persons

Of course, the fans, led by coach Corbin's wife, Maggie, a former college athlete (tennis) who attends to a lot of the practices and games.
I could have started upside down. No one makes himself feel more important than the other. Every member of the family knows his place and the group never misses a chance to reward the others for their work. The atmosphere is amazing and is a part of one of my next posts : Secret recipe. 

The fans start to gether for the first intersquad scrimmage of the Fall season.

There are fans (and scouts, probably) showing up for each session in the Fall... Find out why in the next post : Baseball

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