The College Baseball Blog continues our series of interviews with various head coaches around the nation. We recently had a chance to talk with Steve Rousey of Cal-State Northridge. He is currently entering his seventh season with the Matadors. He talks about the team’s expectations for the 2009 season and some of the hot button issues around College Baseball.
1. Your team is coming off a 24-32 season, where they were only able to put together an 8-16 record in conference play. With your large 2008 freshman class another year older, what do you think you can build on from last year to be more competitive in the Big West conference?
With our large Frosh class from ’08 a year older, the Matadors will show considerable competitive progress this season and beyond. We also have 2 big arms healthy in Brian Slover and Jim Jolicoeur to go along with a top 40 recruiting class that take the field in “09
2. Have any of your incoming freshmen impressed you during Fall Workouts? Do you see any of them breaking into the starting lineup/rotation this season?
Freshmen Steve Messner(LHP) will likely be a starter and Wes Wright will likely play second base.
3. Ryan Pineda made an instant impact in your lineup by picking up the 2008 Big West Conference Freshman of the Year award. What makes him such a special player?
Ryan Pineda’s passion for the game and intelligence are intangibles that that allow his natural abilities to come out on the field.
4. Who do you expect to be the best team in the Big West conference in 2009?
It is tough to say because there are a number of of great teams in the conference!
5. Last season we saw the implementation of the Uniform Start Date. What are your early impressions on it? Did you think it has leveled the playing field?
I think that a uniform start date is a good thing as long as it does not result in the reduction of games. But it needs to be moved forward 1 week.
6. How will the new rules with the way the scholarships can be split on the team affect your program? Do you think it is a good change for college baseball?
The new rules regulating roster size do not affect our program because Title IX limitations as they apply to our program do not allow us 35 anyway. The 27 is a “wait and see” proposition. It’s impact on APR remains to be seen.
7. With the removal of the one-time transfer exemption that allowed student-athletes to change schools once without having to sit out a red-shirt year, do you feel that there is more pressure on a coach to recruit with responsibility or for the student-athlete to be aware of what programs are the best fit for them?
The responsibility is shared by both the coach and the student-athlete.
8. Final question, who has been your biggest influence on your coaching philosophy or career?
Former Loyola-Marymount and Long Beach State coach Dave Snow.
The College Baseball Blog would like to thank Steve Rousey for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer these questions for us. Special thanks to Eric Bankston of Cal-State Northridge Media Relations for setting up the interview. You can check out our previous interviews by clicking here and if you are an SID or Head Coach that would like to be featured on the site please email us by clicking here.