When I chatted with new Maryland baseball coach Erik Bakich two weeks ago, I asked if he wanted to talk in the student union.
One of us knew where it was. It wasn’t him.
He was on the job three weeks and had spent three days on campus. He knew where Shipley Field and Comcast Center were, as well as his trailer/office.
So where had he been?
“The better question is where haven’t I been?” Bakich said knowingly.
Indeed, the former Vanderbilt assistant with a reputation as a nonstop recruiter spent much of July on the road before returning to Nashville (where he and his wife are expecting their first child).
And to rebuild Maryland, that’s pretty much what he needs to do.
“I love being out on the road and love recruiting, but most importantly I love the chase and the hunt,” Bakich said. “I’m not talking about going out and shooting things. I’m talking about chasing players and finding guys that are the right fit.”
So, for now, that’s the priority. Clearly, next season means something, but a larger difference will be seen once Bakich’s recruits (like this guy) join the program.
“Recruiting is the lifeblood and the backbone of your program,” Bakich said. “It’s not going to happen with two or three guys. You need to put a team together. A team is not two or three. A team is 35. It needs to be 35 guys who most importantly buy into the system you’re instilling.”