Baseball: Coach Mazey Media Conference

  • By Brian Kuppelweiser
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  • June 06, 2012 03:32 PM
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Coach Randy Mazey
Introductory Media Conference

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - I am so excited to be here. First of all, I would like to thank Oliver (Luck), Mike (Parsons), Keli (Cunningham), Terri (Howes) and Michael (Szul). The hospitality that my wife and I have been shown is really overwhelming. To be a part of the Mountaineer family is something that is easy to fall into. I am very thankful and very humbled to be here. I would like to thank everyone that is involved, and I would really like to thank my wife, Amanda, who has been my rock.

It is exciting. I am really looking forward to the challenge of competing in the Big 12. As I talk to some of the great players and hear about some of the great traditions they have around here, I realize that I want to continue that type of tradition. It is exciting to get into the Big 12. When you look at the commitment that the administration has to the program, with the future plans for a baseball stadium, it is going to do a tremendous amount for the community down the road. Legion baseball is very strong here, and along with the potential of attracting a minor league team, you can’t emphasize how important that could be for Morgantown down the road. I am looking forward to connecting to the high school coaches in the state, and my staff and I are going to work diligently to bring this program to new levels that it hasn’t seen before.

At the same time, we understand that this is not going to be a one-man show. It is going to take a lot of help and a lot of commitment by a lot of people. I really look forward to reaching out to the alumni, the former players, the administration and the support staff. In baseball, there are only two things that you can control, and that is your attitude and your effort. You can’t control where the ball goes when you hit, or where the ball goes when you throw it. If you can control your attitude and your efforts, and everyone is on the same page, you can realize all of your dreams.

Again, I am very humbled to be here. My vision for this program in the month of June in the future is to be on the practice field and not to be holding press conferences. I am excited for the challenge that lies ahead. We are excited to play in a league (Big 12 Conference) that is the most elite baseball conference in the country. Our goal is to get out in the community and the surrounding states to convince families and their kids that West Virginia is where you want to be. I would like to thank everyone involved for the hospitality shown. Thank you very much for everything.

On how the future of the program sold him
The first thing you need to have is a vision. The vision is in place. Recruiting and winning is all about relationships, and that is in place here. This wasn’t an interview where you look around and wonder if you want to be a part of this. It wasn’t very long before we realized that this is a great opportunity. I would like to take this program to places it hasn’t been before.

On a time frame to achieve success in the program
That has yet to be determined. I have not met any of the players. Changing the culture, in my mind, is going to be the easy part. I am the type of coach that spends a lot of time teaching kids lessons that they are going to use for the next three or four years, and if they are lucky, for the next four or five years in professional baseball. I enjoy teaching my kids a lesson that they are going to use for the rest of their lives. I get as much enjoyment out of a player that is a good husband or a good father. Very few of them get to play professional baseball, so I am in the business of preparing kids for what lies ahead of them in life when they graduate from West Virginia. We are going to spend a lot of time addressing those issues. I am very anxious to meet the players, and I hope everyone else is on board.

On the transition to the Big 12
We are going to have to pitch. With college baseball the way it is today, you have to pitch. It is a different game than it was three years ago. If you look at all of the Big 12 teams, they can all pitch. If you put quality pitchers on the mound, you have a chance to win games. At TCU, we didn’t swing the bats well all year, but now, we are in the position to put ourselves in the College World Series. Pitching can keep you in every game. One thing that really excites me is the landscape of our league. If you have a league that stretches from the North all the way to the South, teams in the North are typically able to attract quality pitchers that want to compete in the best league in America. I am looking forward to meeting all the high school coaches in the surrounding area. This is an attractive place, and hopefully, the success of the basketball and football teams will help us attract kids from other states.

On the team’s returning players
The good thing about that is that all of these guys are just names on a stat sheet to me. When I walk into that locker room, each player on this team has a fresh start. They will have an opportunity to play just as much as the guy sitting next to them does. To me, it comes back to attitude and effort. The guys that are committed to the same things as my staff are going to be the guys that have success. If they want to jump on board and ride this train as far as we can drive it, then I am happy to have them on board. It is pretty hard to answer that question right now, but it is going to be an exciting time for everyone.

On Morgantown and his hometown, Johnstown, Pa.
The thing that excites me about this area is that I am blue-collar guy, and this is a blue-collar area. I don’t know the equipment in this area, but if we have one bat and one ball, then we are going to go play a game. We are going to grind it. We are going to grind out at-bats and every pitch. If you have one t-shirt and it gets dirty, you wash it and wear it the next day and be proud of it. We are going to get after some people, but at the same time, we are going to build this thing on the mound. You can teach a guy how to hit a 94-mile-an-hour fastball way easier than you can teach a guy how to throw one. We want to go get guys that are going to go out and compete like it is the last game that they are ever going to play in. Hopefully, we can manufacture some runs.

On a time frame for success
I am kind of crazy in that way. I am expecting big strides right away. I am guilty of saying that you can win anywhere if you just get after it. If you do it the right way, I really believe you can win. As long as we get better every day and better than the game before, I will be satisfied. You can’t control wins and losses. You can only control attitude and effort. Like I said, I want to be practicing in June in the future, not having press conferences.