For six seasons, Joe Myers has been with The University of Dallas’ baseball team. He coached under Fraser Holmes as the team’s assistant coach for four seasons before being appointed head coach in 2014.
As a former player at Spring Arbor University, where he earned a B.S. in business marketing and management and then worked as an assistant pitching coach/ assistant recruiting coordinator, he lets his players know that he understands the struggles of being a student-athlete.
Tori Fleharty: How has being a pitching coach and then an assistant coach made you a better head coach?
Joe Myers: Just being able to experience the different parts of the game, because as a head coach you have to worry about all aspects of the game, like working with the pitchers and the catchers. The experience helps you shape your team’s overall performance.
TF: You were an assistant pitching coach at Spring Arbor University after graduating from there. Why did you decide to stay there?
JM: The head coach there was a Hall of Fame coach. I wanted a year to learn under him instead of just playing under him. I got to learn why he does what he does in all aspects of the game.
TF: You are from Michigan. How did you end up at UD?
JM: I wanted to get out of the snow, so we flipped a coin and it landed on Dallas. That was 50 percent of the reason, but the other was that my head coach in college used to coach at Dallas Baptist University and so he had people that he knew down here and was always talking about it.
TF: Do you like it down here in Dallas?
JM: I love it. There’s no snow.
TF: You are on your seventh season here at UD with three series left to play. How have you prepared your players in practice?
JM: The goal every day is to improve on all the stuff that we are picking up in games. Improving on the areas that need it and try[ing] to gain momentum and confidence in the way that we are playing heading into these next games.
TF: How many games does the team need to win to make it to the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) tournament?
JM: We are projecting that we need eight conference wins, so we have to win six out of the last nine games.
TF: Does playing at away games affect the team at all?
JM: It doesn’t affect our wins. I think that the big thing about away games is that it is a different schedule. The guys are running on different timings and they are also on different fields. On the road, infields play differently, so there are different aspects of game play. Some play is different from our play, but for the most part it is pretty similar.
TF: After this season the team will lose seven seniors. As the head coach, what do you look for in future players for UD?
JM: Well we have to replace the seven seniors, and since five of them are pitchers, this upcoming class will have a heavy emphasis on pitching. But we are also looking to build onto the last two recruiting classes that I have down as the head coach. We need the guys playing and coming in to have a gamer personality and to be grinders.
The baseball team has the last two home series for conference play in the next two weeks against Southwestern University on April 8 and 9 and Trinity University on April 14 and 15. They will then conclude the regular season with one final conference series on the road against Schreiner University, April 22-23.