Coaches Corner: Barry Mizzell

Blythewood head coach Barry Mizzell just completed his first year as part as the high school’s inaugural season after a very successful run at Richland-Northeast. Mizzell is mentioned in prep coaching circles as one of the most respected and revered skippers manning high school dugouts in South Carolina. His reputation as a great "baseball guy" and playoff coach are evident when you see his teams play in big games. During the spring Mizzell took some time out for Diamond Prospects to take us through his career and sheds some light on why he feels his teams have won.


DP-How many years have you been in coaching?

BM-17 years                                                                                                        

DP-What is the most rewarding thing about being a baseball coach?

BM-Watching the players develop into successful young men after baseball. The ability to make a difference in the life of these young men.

DP-What does the term “coach” mean to you?


DP-What is something you wish everyone knew about your profession?

BM-The dedication that coaches have for their jobs. 

DP-What is your definition of a “student-athlete?”

BM-A young man that has his priorities in line. An athlete that has discipline on and of the field. The same dedication and commitment on the field must also take place in the classroom.

DP-We always hear how players have superstitions, I know coaches do too. Do you have anything interesting?

BM-Not really. 

DP-What is your most memorable experience as a baseball coach?

BM-Winning the State Championship in 2001.

DP-Who has made the greatest impression on you as a baseball coach and why?

BM-My former high school baseball coach, Charlie Assey. He is the reason I got into coaching and teaching. He hired me for my first coaching job.

DP-Who are the best three players you have ever coached against?

BM-Pokey Reese, Kip Bouknight and Pep Harris.

DP-Who do you think are the top three players in your area right now?

BM-Alex Lee, Chris Love and Timmy Taylor.

DP-What does it mean to be a good teammate and is that important?

BM-A good teammate is one that is willing to sacrifice for the good of the team. 

DP-What do you see as the biggest difference you in high-school aged players today versus ten years ago?

BM-Players today have many more opportunities to better themselves than ten years ago. But, I am not sure that the players of today are as committed as they were then.

DP-We often hear about the “politics” that surround high school baseball. What is your philosophy on this subject and on dealing with the parents of your players?

BM-We play the nine players that will give us the best chance to be successful. I think you can eliminate a lot of problems by communicating with the player and parents.

DP-Now switching gears, think back to your days as a baseball player, please list any notable accolades:

BM-Played on State Championship team in High School, Played college baseball at Baptist College at Charleston.

DP-What is your greatest high school thrill?

BM-Winning the State Championship in 1982

DP-What is your greatest thrill, or two, beyond high school?

BM-Coaching-wise, it would have to be winning State Championships in baseball and football at Richland Northeast. Family-wise, it would be getting married and the birth of my two children.

DP-Who were the three best players you played against?

BM-BJ Surhoff, Walt Weiss and Herm Winningham.

DP-Who has made the greatest impression on you as a person and why?

BM-My Dad and my Grandfather. They instilled in me the proper values and work ethic that you must have if you want to be successful.

DP-Who is your favorite athlete (non-baseball)?

BM-Joe Montana

DP-Who is your favorite MLB pitcher and position player to watch and why?

BM-Gregg Maddux and Chipper Jones.

DP-Who is your favorite MLB team?

BM-Atlanta Braves

DP-What is your favorite sport to play other than baseball?


DP-What is your favorite sport to watch other than baseball?

BM-College Football

DP-What are some of your hobbies?

BM-Hunting, fishing and spending time with my family.

DP-What is something people don’t know about you?

BM-Outside of baseball, I am fairly laid back.

DP-Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

BM-Teaching and Coaching

DP-Your thoughts on what Diamond Prospects can do for kids in South Carolina?

BM-I think this will give kids much-needed publicity. A great site for high school baseball.

DP-Give a high school player who is reading this article one piece of advice.

BM-Never be satisfied with your success. Always work hard.

DP-Coach Mizzell, thanks for taking time for us during your spring season!