April 23, 2008

Q&A- Florida State's Mike Martin

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(FSU's Mike Martin has had his share of disgruntled fans, impressionable recruits and ornery umpires over the years )

Mike Martin entered his 29th season of coaching at Florida State just a mere 145 wins shy of Augie Garrido's NCAA Division I record of 1,629 wins. That's not that many wins in FSU terms, roughly the equivalent of three seasons. I mean, when you consider Martin's fewest victories for a single spring was 44 in 2006, that's not too bad.

He may be 65 years old, but you can't accuse him of slowing down. Not Mike Martin. Too many things to do, too many recruits to meet.

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March 05, 2008

Q&A- Wichita State's Gene Stephenson

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You don't tell a rough and tumble man from Guthrie, Oklahoma that you can't take pressure. That's one thing I've noticed about Gene Stephenson's teams Wichita State, they're usually mentally tough and have an ornery disposition.

But that's also why I've noticed Coach Stephenson grousing about his teams the last few years. He's gone on record at the Wichita Eagle that his recent teams haven't had a toughness about them, haven't been mentally strong and have shown a lack of aggressiveness.

For a man who played football at Missouri and went to the frontlines in Vietnam, that inexcusable, bordering on sacrilege. He didn't earn his 1,606 victories by playing tentatively. If he hadn't been aggressive and confident, his Wichita State program might not have ever gotten off the ground, much less been in the College World Series four years after being reborn in 1978.

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May 20, 2007

Saturday Statements - Pat Murphy, NCAA tournament selection committee member (not a typo)

When I interviewed Arizona State head coach Pat Murphy in April of '06, he told me that this year he was going to be a member of the NCAA's tournament selection committee for the first time.

But he also told me of his re-occuring dream where he's in the room with all the other guys and he's talking up a blue streak... but nobody is listening.


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The former pugilist is now putting on the gloves for West coast love.

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May 16, 2007

My Q&A with Minnesota's John Anderson - The third most-famous person from Hibbing, Minnesota

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John Anderson is pure Minnesota.

From his roots in the Northern town of Hibbing to his close relationship with the former Hall of Fame Gopher coach Dick "Chief" Siebert. He played under the famous coach, learned everything he knew from him and then, even to his surprise, took over the University of Minnesota program that Siebert built at the still-wet-behind-the-ears age of 26.

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April 25, 2007

My Q&A with San Diego's Rich Hill - Talking rock-n-roll, surfing and why it would be stupid to live anywhere other than San Diego. (Oh and we talk some baseball too).

I suppose the first thing I should do is apologize for the length of this interview. San Diego coach Rich Hill and I found a lot of common ground and we just kept powering on. So if you find this to be of Playboy Interview-like length, my bad.

Now, knowing the high energy of Coach Hill, I gave serious consideration to just walking up to the guy, saying hi, turning on my recorder and telling him, "Okay coach. Readyyyyyy.... go!" and letting him get his motor running on any and every subject he wanted. He's that type of guy.

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March 18, 2007

Saturday Statements - Talking to a program builder

Other than St. Peter's making the quantum leap of improvement from last year (already 8-10 after going 10-43 last season), the second biggest off-the-radar story of the season is probably the vast improvement of Stephen F. Austin of the Southland Conference.

In just its second year back from an 11-year hiatus, coach Donnie Watson has turned a 15-41 team from 2006, into a competitve, .500-playing outfit already this season.

On my day off from covering the NCAA basketball tournament games in New Orleans, I managed to make it out to Alumni Field on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. There, the Lumberjacks were playing game two of their SLC weekend series against the host Lions, trying to add to their respectable start to this season.

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March 14, 2007

My Q&A with Virginia's Brian O'Connor

How ironic it was to be walking up to Hooks Stadium at Wake Forest last Saturday, as the stadium p.a. was cranking out Ozzy Osborne's "Crazy Train." An appropriate song since I was about to interview Virginia head coach Brian O'Connor. I say that because the only previous experience I'd had with O'Connor was during his playing days and I thought he was crazy.

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February 15, 2007

My Q&A with Rice's Wayne Graham

While talking to Rice Coach Wayne Graham the other day, a strange question came to my mind. Not a question to ask him, but more of a rhetorical question: What do you get a guy like this for Christmas?

Man, this is a guy that has it all. A storied life he loves, a profession in a game he can't bare to get away from, a wonderful wife, six kids, a handful of grandkids, a spot in the Texas sports Hall of Fame, six national championships (five at the J.C. level), the most successful sport at a prestigious academic institution and the admiration and respect of everybody involved in college baseball.

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Eric Sorenson Eric Sorenson
Eric Sorenson is CSTV.com's National Baseball Columnist, and also appears on CSTV as a baseball expert