Eddie Smith (ES) has a chair from the 2011 College World Series sitting in his office which he got as a coach on the University of Virginia team that made it to Omaha. He was also a coach on the Cavaliers team that went to the 2009 College World Series. This is the kind of success he hopes to help the Broncos achieve as part of new head coach Dan O'Brien's coaching staff. As a player Smith was part of a Notre Dame team that won back-to-back Big East championships and made two NCAA regional appearances. SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) recently caught up with the new coach to find out his philosophy on hitting and much more.
SCB: What made you decide to come to Santa Clara?
ES: I came to Santa Clara to be a part of something special. This entire university has a special feeling the instant you walk on campus and we are excited to make the baseball program one of the cornerstones of this university. Coach O'Brien has entrusted me with a lot of responsibility in leading the hitters and position players and I look forward to developing them on the field and as men.
SCB: How will you use the success of Virginia while you were there to help here?
ES: I learned so much at Virginia that it is tough to choose one specific thing that I will work to bring to Bronco Baseball. The first thing that comes to mind is simply a constant pursuit of perfection every day. This wasn't something that was talked about very often, it was just the only way that was acceptable in anything that was done. The other concept that is so important to a program's success is the idea of team. Great teams are founded on players who realize the group is counting on them to perform their role at the highest level possible. When you have a group of 40 to 45 people in a program putting in all their effort toward the same goal it is amazing what can be accomplished. There is not a better feeling than accomplishing something as a group and knowing everyone put in the effort to do their part.
SCB: What is your philosophy on hitting?
ES: We are going to have a lineup where we have tough outs one through nine. It is important that players take on an attitude that they are going to win every pitch no matter the score, count or who we are facing on the mound. It is a challenging game but if we stay disciplined to this approach we will have a very tough and consistent offense.
SCB: What will you tell your hitters is the most important thing to being successful?
ES: The most important thing for any hitter is knowing that you are going to get a hit when you get in the batters box. It isn't realistic to hit 1.000 but you must truly believe you are going to get a hit every time you are at bat.
SCB: What do you want to say to Bronco baseball fans before you get to work preparing for the season?
ES: The welcome we have already received from the fans has been unbelievable. We all are thankful for the great fan base that Bronco Baseball has and we are excited to see all of you at the ballpark throughout the fall and on into the spring!