Summer as a Coach

Jay Pyron, Softball

“A summer for a softball coach is not much of a break. Pretty much from the day that our games end we are on the road recruiting.
“This summer we had an assistant coach search where we were hiring a pitching coach for the first time and our other assistant is a graduate assistant so she goes home for the summer. It was just me the whole summer again, and it brought back memories of the first summer when I was starting the program from scratch.
“Pretty much every week in the summer, Thursday through Sunday, I’m on the road recruiting — trying to find the next generation of Racers. Between those days I’m in the office doing the paperwork for those trips and doing some other recruiting duties and ordering clothes for the upcoming year and taking care of office duties. Pretty uninteresting stuff.”

Alan Lollar, Rifle

“This was a busy summer for my family. My daughter Maggie graduated from MSU and had a job in Paducah, and got engaged. So there was a lot of excitement surrounding her this summer. My son John had a good high school baseball season as a 10th grader and got the opportunity to play American Legion this summer, so we were watching him many of the nights this summer.
“I then have my continuing education requirements for my job as athletic trainer to take care of, so that was another four days out of town.
“As far as rifle went, I was in Fort Benning, Ga., July 1-7, for the USA Shooting National Championships. One of our current shooters, senior Ashley Rose, had a very good week and turned in possibly her best smallbore match ever. That was really exciting.
“I’m looking forward to getting started this year. We are still a young team in many ways but are gaining big match experience. The competition across the board will be tougher than ever and it will be a challenge to compete well enough to improve on last year.”

 

Kara Amundson, Women’s Tennis

“Usually a typical summer for coaches is a reflection period after the season depending on what time of the year you finish. But that’s what the summer typically is a reflection of the season and what it brought for you both good and bad and how you want to build and think you might want to change.
“Summer is also a pretty heavy recruiting time for any coach in any sport from what I understand. It’s the only time throughout the year, pretty much, that we don’t have our own kids on campus working with our own players so there is a lot of going out and seeing prospective student-athletes play, getting them on campus, all those types of things.
”My summer was a little bit different because I’m in the transition from different sports here,  but I’m really excited to get this opportunity to transition from softball to tennis. Obviously I played softball in college and have been coaching that, but I’ve always loved the game of tennis. I think it’s a really exciting sport and I’m really looking forward to working with these girls.
“I’m working with just tennis now and let me tell you, it’s a full load. It’s like any sport, once you get in as a Division I college coach it’s what you do, it really is. I think there is so much to it that people don’t realize with the recruiting and ordering of equipment and making sure the kids are where they need to be. It really is a full time job across the board. You have practice, and practice planning, there is a ton that goes into it.”

 

Steve Prohm, Men’s Basketball

“Summer was hectic. Once I got the job in May we had camps coming right up so I had to keep camps running smooth. I didn’t want to have anything deter from that continuity. Then I had to hire a staff and that was of the upmost importance, your staff is huge.
“Only a couple players were here in June, working, working out and going to class. We settled in with a staff, then July hit and that was really hectic. That was the big time for recruitment, and we had camps still going on and all 12 or 13 guys were here.
“Then we had 10 days of practice before we went to Toronto then the kids came back and went home for a few days and class is starting today.”

 

Jenny Severns, Cross-Country, Track and Field

“It was a pretty busy summer. We were still recruiting at the beginning of the summer, we kind of signed a lot of people last minute, which is good — we never gave up.
“I got married and went to St. Lucia. That’s kind of cool, and definitely not a typical coach’s summer, and it made for a much busier summer.
“I think the biggest thing coaches do in the summer is get ready for the season, especially for us because we’re always in season, cross-country and indoor and outdoor, all the planning for the year happens in the summer.
“We can start making recruiting calls and recruiting July 1, so the beginning of the summer is just making sure you get the information on all the kids you want.
“It’s just keeping track of the kids on the team, making sure they don’t do anything stupid, getting ready to recruit people and making plans. There is still as much to do, just more paperwork-type stuff.
“Last year was everybody getting used to each other, but now everyone here is used to each other and then everyone else we recruited so it’s finally our team and it makes it really, really exciting — I’m just excited to see what everybody can do, I’m really happy.”

 

Eddie Hunt, Men’s Golf

“The summer is really a down time for us. I watch some of the local tournaments and follow some of my former players, like Cameron Carrico and that bunch, who were playing in some of the co-tournaments in this area.
“We’re really lucky in Kentucky, and this area especially, that we have some of the golf clubs who have a couple tournaments so I got to see my players back in this area.
“Some recruiting and watching results, but mainly this summer was spent watching former players have a lot of success — and I took off and played some golf myself.”

 

Rob McDonald, Baseball

“This year (our family) had a very uneventful summer. We did a pretty poor job of planning any sort of vacation. My kids are all in high school and they had things going on and before we knew it we couldn’t find a window for a vacation.
“I took my son over to St. Louis a couple times for ball games and my wife took our daughter a few places. We all went up to Illinois to my hometown for a little while, but in the past our favorite place to go is Edestow Island in South Carolina.
“For baseball, summer is still busy, we have camps and recruiting. We don’t really have any big down times. The slower times for us is probably November and December.”

 

Beth Acreman, Soccer

“Normally at the beginning I would take my vacation then so we can get ready for camps. We ran three camps this summer sort of scattered around. Two of them are big ones; an elite camp and a team high school camp and then lead in for the month of July is getting ready for our pre-season.
“(This summer) I actually stayed in Murray, and we ran a lot of camps. So for me that took a lot of my time. We have quite a few new international players, so they take a lot of my time over the summer to make sure they’re eligible, and their flights are booked and they’ve spoken to the embassy.
“So really this summer for me was pretty busy. I normally get a chance to go home to England but this time I didn’t, so it was pretty much getting my team together and doing my camps.”

 

David Schwepker, Volleyball

“I went on some vacations with my family and then I painted, and painted and painted Racer Arena.
“Normally my typical summer is volleyball camps. This summer, because of our family situation, I just spent most of my time with the family and doing stuff with them. Normally it’s just lots of volleyball — I go away and do camps and I do camps here.
“This summer was very unusual. Like, the first in 20-something years because I didn’t do any camps at all. I spent a lot of time with my family and then I spent about three and a half weeks in Racer Arena, fixing it up.”