CBB Interview with John Cole (Penn)

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John Cole (Courtesy of Penn Media Relations)

The College Baseball Blog is committed to bringing our readers some insight from coaches from around the country. We continue our series of interviews today with Penn’s John Cole. He is currently entering his fourth season in charge of the Quakers program. Last season saw the Penn program finish the season with a 15-23-1 overall record  with a conference record of 6-13-1. They ended up finishing in third place in the Gehrig Division with 8.5 games separating them from the first place Columbia Lions. John Cole came over to Penn after a highly successful six year run at Rowan College in New Jersey.

1. The Penn Quakers finished the 2008 season with a 15-23-1 record while going 6-13-1 in the Ivy League. In 2007, the Quakers qualified for the Ivy League Championship series before being eliminated by the Brown Bears. What are your expectations for the 2009 squad?

Our 2009 squad is much different than our 2008 team. We have much more experience and maturity. This is a well-balanced, well-coached league with every team having a shot at the championship. I think Penn as well as every team can contend this season.

2. The Penn Quakers return two of the better starting pitchers in the conference with Todd Roth and Jeremy Maas coming back. Who do you expect to fill the other two spots in the weekend rotation?

Todd Roth is a tremendous competitor who should give us quality innings. Maas may return from Tommy John surgery and we don’t know what role he will take in our staff at this time. We also return sophomore Paul Cusick who has an electric arm and should be ready to produce this season. Our three and four spots are a battle between juniors Reid Terry, Robby Seymour and freshman Vince Voiro.

3. Penn returns seven out of nine position starters from last season’s team with the losses of Michael Gatti and Kyle Armeny to graduation. Who do you expect to fill their positions in 2009 and who is going to step up in the leadership role?

Our returning position players should be the strength of our team. We will blend in two talented freshmen Derek Vigoa and James Mraz that should help our experienced lineup.

4. Do you see any incoming freshmen making an impact in the everyday lineup or starting rotation?

We should have outfielder Derek Vioga and RHP Vince Voiro who each should make an impact on the 2009 squad.

5. 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?

There is pressure to be more exact and not just take a player who looks like he might help your program. You have to take your time in the process and see if each player’s make-up as well as his abilities fit into what your program needs are for the upcoming year. The room for error has narrowed and it should help the mid-major and lower DI programs hold on to more recruits.

6. Last question, What is the best way for a potential student athlete to be seen by college athlete?

Good question, I believe that a potential student-athlete should take advantage of college camps, well organized tournaments and playing on good teams that win.

The College Baseball Blog would like to thank John for checking in with us for the third straight season. If any more coaches or SID’s are interested in doing a similar interview feel free to email us by clicking here.