by Brandon Rebboah '13
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Although it is his first year at Santa Clara, Brett Lindgren is no stranger to coaching. The young volunteer assistant coached at Cal State Fullerton and helped the Titans reach the College World Series three times he also has head coaching experience in the Northwoods Summer League. Recently, SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) sat down with Brett Lindgren (BL) to discuss his new role with the Bronco baseball team and the upcoming season.
SCB: As your first year at Santa Clara, what has been your favorite part about the Mission Campus?
BL: My favorite part of the job is coming into work and being around great people every day. The administration at SCU was very welcoming when I was hired and Coach O'Brien and the rest of the staff create a great work environment. I have to say being on the field is a lot more fun than sitting in any office, but I think that's a given.
SCB: You took a successful playing career and applied it to a promising future in coaching. How do your playing days make you a better coach?
BL: My playing days have helped me become a better coach because I can relate to what the players are going through. I try to instill values and give advice that will help players further their careers in baseball in life. This becomes a little easier when I can recall situations I encountered as a player. It would be rare if I asked my players to do something that I haven't been through before as a player.
SCB: As a Northern California guy, how special is it to be back after time down south?
BL: Yes, I grew up in Santa Cruz and live there now, so it is nice to be back home. Fullerton was a great experience and I owe a lot to both coaching staffs I worked for there; they helped mold me into the coach I am today. The relationships I made while working at CSF made it tough to leave, and I still have many close friends down there. It makes it special to be closer to my family and childhood friends who have an opportunity to attend games and give me another level of support.
SCB: What did you take away from the opportunity as a head coach in the Northwoods League?
BL: The Northwoods league gave me a little insight into what head coaches deal with. Talking to media, making sure everything runs smoothly before, and after games games and keeping players in line. Going into that season I was young and pretty naive about what I was going to be dealing with. The Rochester Honker owners (Kim Archer and Dan Litzinger) really helped me through that summer because it wasn't easy. It was an eye-opener for me and helped me mature in a coaching sense.
SCB: You have post-season experience as both a player and a coach. How does that help you further your coaching career?
BL: The post season is what we play for, why we put in all our hard work. We go out there every day to try and earn a chance to experience the excitement of being one of the 64 teams that get a chance to compete for a national championship. Coach O'Brien, Coach Zirelli, Coach Baum and I have all experienced that excitement and know what it takes get there. The reason it helps me is that I want the thirty-five guys who haven't experienced it yet to earn that honor. That's what drives me every day, the opportunity to share that first postseason experience with them. I hope that that will come this season.
SCB: What are you looking forward to most this upcoming season?
BL: I'm looking forward to the first pitch of the 2011 season because from there who knows what's going to happen. It will be fun, I know that!
Lindgren and the rest of the coaches will continue to prepare the Broncos for the 2011 baseball season against No.7 South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina on Feb. 18.