Mazeroski Interview

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About Junior Colleges

Coach Darron Mazeroski
Gulfcoast Community College

Another in our series of interviews with juco coaches -- An interview with Coach Darren Mazeroski of Gulfcoast Community College, in Panama City, Florida. Gulfcoast Community is an NJCAA Division I school.

 
Question: Gulfcoast CC is an NJCAA affiliated school, many of the folks that visit the High School Baseball Web assume that the caliber of baseball played at an NJCAA school is not as good as that played at an NCAA Division 2 or 3 program. How do respond to that?

Answer: Look at the rosters of the majority of the NCAA Division I programs and see how many Juco transfers they have. The nations top schools recruit from us to fill needs. So the caliber of play must be pretty good.

 
Question: Do NJCAA baseball programs have the ability to offer athletic scholarship money?

Answer: Yes -- NJCAA Division I schools are allowed up to 24 full scholarships

 
Question: Do NJCAA schools "blend" athletic and academic scholarship monies together to create a package for the good academic athlete?

Answer: The athletes are eligible for academic aid just like all the other students who qualify

 
Question: How important is it for a high school player to attend a college team's summer camp?

Answer: Not Very

 
Question: When should a player write a letter of introduction to a college coach? (i.e. after his 10th grade year, etc.)

Answer: In the fall of his senior year is the best for us

 
Question: Is it better to have the player's high school coach send the first letter? Or does it make any difference?

Answer: Does not really matter

 
Question: Do sending copies of a players high school / summer team statistics help? Are they of value to you - when received with an introductory letter?

Answer: Statistics are always welcome

 
Question: Should a player or high school coach send copies of clippings from local newspapers that relate accomplishments of the player?

Answer: Clippings pertaining to any "all-city, county or state" are preferred

 
Questions: Are the "online" internet recruiting services taken seriously by college coaches? Would you recommend them to a high school player and his family?

Answer: No -- not recommended. We do almost all of our recruiting by telephone, word of mouth or by seeing players in person.

 
Question: Should a player send a videotape of himself in baseball situations and games? Do junior college coaches review unsolicited tapes?

Answer: Video is always a good way to introduce a player

 
Question: If a tape is beneficial to you and your staff what suggestions would you make to the player? Such as all game situations? Some individual fielding and batting situations? Pitchers in games only, or is throwing to a catcher good also?

Answer: Combination of workout footage and game action. (not an entire game tape)

 
Question: With the increasing number of high school talent showcases in recent years how important is it for a player to attend this type of event? Do you and/or the coaching staff at Gulfcoast attend any showcases?

Answer: Rarely -- if ever.

 
Question: How important is a player's physical appearance? I do not mean is he 6'-1" tall and weighs 205 lbs. What I am referring to is tattoos, body piercings, odd hairstyles, manner of dress etc. Are any or all of these items a "negative" when a college coach sees a prospective player?

Answer: Fair or not those things create an impression. If two players are of equal ability, the one with the less "extra stuff" may be the better option

 
Question: If a player has a bad day when a college coach is in the stands watching him for the first time. Does that mean that it is "over" as far as that school is concerned?

Answer: No -- Especially if it is early in the year

 
Question: How important is a player's "attitude appearance" when in a game or at practice?

Answer: VERY

 
Question: As the head coach of a smaller college what are the major differences in recruiting when compared to the "major" schools?

Answer: We may not be a player's first option but we may be their "best option." In terms of playing time and a chance to develop

 
Question: As the coach of a smaller school do you recruit on a more regional scope than other larger schools?

Answer: We branch out and recruit anywhere

 
Question: So many high school players have the attitude that if they do not play college baseball at one of the D1 top 40 programs they have failed. What advice can you offer a high school player regarding the "big school" stigma?

Answer: The bottom line should be getting on the field and playing rather than sitting on the bench at a "big time" school

 
Question: What other advice would you give to a high school player that hopes to play baseball in college?

Answer: It is a big country and a big world there is probably someone out there working harder than you

You can Contact Coach Mazeroski at:
Gulfcoast Community College
5230 W Hwy 98
Panama City, FL 32401
(850) 769-1551
Web Site

 

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Revised February 09, 2003 .