FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) – College basketball is fast approaching. Players across the country have been hitting the courts daily to prepare for preseason practices. And fans are eager to check out their school’s new recruits in action. One of those fans is UCF assistant baseball coach Cliff Godwin.
Coming over from LSU where he was the Tigers hitting coach, Godwin is now serving as the Knights’ hitting coach while also leading up the program’s recruiting efforts. A graduate of East Carolina University, Godwin grew up in the heart of the North Carolina-Duke rivalry. With no Major League clubs located in the state and his family already involved in basketball, it is no wonder why he has a love of the hard courts.
“To be honest, I have never really been a huge MLB fan,” admitted Godwin. “I know that sounds crazy, but growing up my dad was a high school basketball coach, and I played basketball, football and baseball. My favorite baseball team right now, though, would have to be the Arizona Diamondbacks because my best friend Chad Tracy plays there and he played with me in college.
“But I was more of a college basketball fan growing up. That’s where all of my spare time went to, was watching college hoops. I loved North Carolina and I always wanted to see them play Duke in Cameron (Indoor Stadium). I’ve been to a game there, but not against North Carolina. So that has been kind of like a lifelong dream of mine.”
So would a lifelong dream be incorporated into one of his three wishes if he found a magic lamp? You bet.
“These are not in any particular order,” said Godwin, who didn’t have to think about his answer at all. “Watch North Carolina play Duke in Cameron. Win a national championship in baseball. And meet any President of the United States because I’d be interested in hearing their views and how they became the President. I’d love to have a conversation with him.”
If meeting the leader of the free world needed to take a back seat for the time being, Godwin instead loves heading to the open-air environment of a coastline.
“If I have a couple of days off, I go to the beach. I always went to Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina because a lot of my friends were there, and there is white sand and clear water,” described Godwin.
Being a coach in collegiate baseball certainly limits his free time to catch some sun. But Godwin will not complain. The joy the game of baseball brings to his life does not compare to anything else. He found that out early in his playing days.
“I was a pitcher and a catcher when I started playing ball,” reflected Godwin. “In high school I really liked to pitch but I didn’t have the velocity. I just wanted to play a position where I was in the game with every pitch. In college, my coaches obviously wanted me to catch, but I think my high school coach, I can’t speak for him, would have wanted me on the mound. In the end I’m glad I was a catcher. I enjoyed my career at ECU and there’s no better feeling than hitting the ball and knowing that it’s going out. That’s one of the best thrills you can have in any sport.”
Godwin will soon learn that it takes a strong pop to send one yard at Jay Bergman Field, which is unlike many small fields located in the Southeast. One person that will appreciate the true nature of his stadium’s dimensions is head coach Terry Rooney, who will be the subject of part four of the “This is the UCF Baseball Coaching Staff” series. Check back to the official UCF Athletics website to hear what Rooney has to say about his college days reading the NCAA News looking for coaching jobs, as well as how he met his wife Shaun.
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to www.UCFAthletics.com – the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF’s new online apparel store. Also visit www.UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.