New West Virginia University baseball coach Randy Mazey is spending a lot of time getting familiar with his new job. That offers very little time to experience Morgantown while trying to figure out what his roster looks like heading into next season.
"We really haven't had time to get comfortable," Mazey said. "There has been a lot of work to do. I've been going from the hotel and back to the office so far. I haven't got the chance to see a whole lot of the town yet, but we are excited to be here and got a lot ahead of us."
One of his first tasks was to hire a staff. Derek Matlock
will serve as pitching coach with Steven Trout taking over as the hitting
coach. Mazey is excited by his new staff.
"I hate to call them a dream team because that might go to their heads," Mazey joked. "I really lined up some really good people. Some good quality character guys who are hard workers and very knowledgeable. I couldn't ask for any better people than what I have got."
Mazey's summer consists of more than just sitting in the office and studying stats. He is trying to watch his players participate in summer baseball leagues.
"We have gone out this summer and try to see a lot of guys play," Mazey stated. "We've been looking at returning players and incoming players and have done a lot of recruiting. We are throwing our team together from a couple of different angles."
Since Mazey does not know these players very well, the fall will offer up a lot of competition for playing time in the spring. Mazey is not forming too much of an opinion on any player until he gets them on his field and has a true chance to evaluate their talent.
"The good news is that these kids have a fresh start," Mazey said. "I don't know any of these kids really other than what is on the stat sheet. When we get back here everybody has every opportunity to win jobs and it is going to make for a competitive environment."
Mazey puts a high priority on talented pitching. Throughout his time at WVU, look for Mazey to bring in some high quality pitchers to help give his team a chance to win.
"With the new bats in college baseball, the game has really changed," Mazey stated. "If you have a good guy on the mound, you are going to be in just about every game because the scores are not blown up like they used to be. Beyond pitching, if you can play defense and keep a team to three or four runs, you always have a chance to win. If you can't pitch and you are giving up eight, nine or 10 runs per game, then it is really hard to overcome."
Mazey is also looking for more than talent. He wants to see his teams gel together both on and off the field.
"The greatest teams I have been on and coached on have not
always been the most talented teams," Mazey stated. "They are the teams that
worked together the best and had the best team chemistry. Everybody has bought
into what they are trying to do and trusts the coaching staff. Regardless of
our talent level this year, if guys buy into what we are trying to do and what
we are teaching then I think we can make some pretty good strides regardless of
Mazey will be part of something new at WVU next season in that Athletic Director Oliver Luck intends to schedule West Virginia's home games at minor league stadiums around the state. It does not appear that WVU will play any home games at Hawley Field.
Mazey says he likes the idea, "I am excited about that. I think there is so much pride in the state of West Virginia for this University that it will be exciting to travel around the state. The people that can't travel to Morgantown and see a game on a Friday will be able to see us play. I am excited to spread WVU baseball all around the state."
There are Minor league stadiums within the state of West Virginia in Charleston, Bluefield and Princeton. Presumably, that is where WVU will play its home games next spring.