♦ Rob Childress and his baseball philosophy from InsidePitching.com:
- “I would say that I am pretty simple in my expectations of our staffs and our pitchers. As a staff, I expect us to lead the league in fewest amount of walks per 9 innings. That is our one and only goal. The other stats that people look at and think are sexy will take care of themselves such as wins, strikeouts and ERA if we can focus on our one goal as a staff.”
- “We will emphasize the fact that we will outcompete the other pitcher and the other staff. Everything we do with our guys from the first day they show up is a competition and I mean everything. . . There is always something on the line in everything we do and there is always a winner and there is always a loser. There is a price to pay for both. We try to teach our guys to hate losing a lot more than they enjoy winning.”
- “As a pitching coach, keep things simple and do not over coach the delivery. Keep things simple for the kids and allow them to go out and pitch to their strengths and grow and develop a little on their own. A lot of guys create so many thoughts in pitchers heads that they forget the key to pitching is throwing strikes, changing speeds and competing.”
One thing you'd change about college baseball ... what is it?♦ Coach instills blue-collar mentality (The Battalion)
CHILDRESS: It would probably be something to do with the scholarships. The number of scholarships we're allowed to give would be one of them. Another would be to fix some of the grey areas of financial aid around the country. For instance, there are a lot of schools out there not truly dealing with 11.7 scholarships, but essentially more because of different rules in different states. I think all schools should be on equal footing in this regard.
As a coach, which figures in your baseball career have had the greatest impact on your career?
CHILDRESS: You want to talk about inspirations on me as a coach, there are three people: Steve Marrs, my high school coach at Harmony High School (he's now at Pine Tree HS in Longview, Texas) is one. Another is the coach that gave me my first coaching job at this level, and that's Pat Malcheski at Northwood University. Finally, you can put Dave Van Horn (Arkansas) on that list, too.
When you stand by Aggie head baseball coach Rob Childress, there is a silence about him, yet his message is communicated loud and clear.
“His message is to take one game at a time, because you never know when your last game is going to be,” said senior starting pitcher Ross Stripling. “Coach said to us, ‘What if this was your last game? Play with a fire,’ and I think this team has embodied that.”
For a student-athlete going through the grind of a 56-game baseball season, the brevity of a college career is sometimes overlooked, but Childress’ philosophy cements the foundation of hustle and hard work that has built his team.
“I stress effort and attitude and those are the only two things. We’re going to out hustle you and out compete you from when the first pitch is thrown,” Childress said. “If we do that, the scoreboard will take care of itself.”
Childress has been the Aggies’ head ball coach since 2005. He preaches strong pitching, defense and aggressive base running. While other programs recruit flashy student-athletes, Childress said he looks for athletes who will fit his system.
“None of our players were premiere recruits. We recruited kind of in our image, blue collar, hard-nosed guys, and they’re told that on their visit. When you come here, it will be the hardest thing you’ve ever done but it will be the most rewarding,” Childress said.
. . .
“I think with everything, the character of the coach and what the coach stands for comes out through their team, through their play and coach Childress is a prime example of that. The way our guys play, they play hard, they play aggressive, but they are very consistent,” assistant coach Justin Seely said. “His personality comes out through our team and that’s why we continue to plug along and persevere.”
In a society that accepts disingenuous answers as sufficient, Childress still abides by a give-it-to-you-straight, no-nonsense attitude. Childress motivates and pushes his players in order to reach their potential because he’s developed trust in the group.
“When we talk to recruits we always say a couple of things about him. He’s the best man you know. He’s the best man I know. He is the most honest man I know,” said associate head coach Andy Sawyers. “In athletics when you have egos, agendas, people want to play… honesty from the man in charge is a very important trait and that is what I believe sets him apart from everyone else.”