Coaches Corner: Tim Perry


perryt-head08.jpgDiamond Spotlight-Tim Perry: UNC Asheville Recruiting Coordinator Tim Perry has deep ties in South Carolina, though he now calls the Tar Heel state home. He recently spent some time doing a Q & A with Diamond Prospects and provides us a series of responses on topics ranging from NCAA Regionals, cooking and family life to where he attributes his success.

DP-How many years have you been in coaching? What got you into the business?

TP-10 years. My dad worked at USC-Spartanburg while I was growing up so I hung around Coach John Daurity and his team as much as I could dragging bats and shagging for BP. By the time I was in High School, I knew I wanted to coach!

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

TP-The lives you touch and the relationships you build. There is no greater feeling in the world than receiving a call or a text from a former player after a great game in Pro Ball and feeling like you helped them get there.

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

TP-The time and energy that goes into recruiting, practice, games, preparing scouting reports for games, scheduling, fund raising, travel arrangements and summer ball placement.

DP-We all know there is very little money in getting started in coaching at the college level yet the time involved is mind-boggling, why did you do it?

TP-A good friend of mine, Bubba Dorman, once said, "I did not get into coaching to make a living, I do it to make a difference". I feel the same way. I knew what the salary was when I signed the contract.

DP-How do you balance the time demands of coaching and your family?

TP-I have a very supportive and understanding wife. She played tennis at Wofford and her dad coached football and brother is a football coach. She loves baseball and our program as much as I do and involves herself and our daughter in it as much as possible. It is always difficult being away from them but it makes you appreciate your time at home with them so much more. You learn to cherish it during the busy times of the year.

DP-Though you coach in North Carolina now, most of your ties are to the Palmetto State. Tell us about your route to Asheville and how closely you keep up with baseball in South Carolina:

TP-I grew up an hour from Asheville in Greenville, SC but never imagined coaching and living here. The Mountains have definitely grown on me though and we still live very close to our family, which helps. I still keep up with HS Baseball in SC as much as I can on, but we stay pretty busy in NC so I don’t get down to as many games in SC as I once did.

DP-How is your golf game these days?

TP-Not very good. I play a lot of Army Golf these days. Right, Left, Right, Left, Right, Left. It is still an enjoyable 4 hours away from the office.

DP-When you hear the expression "old school baseball", what does that phrase mean to you? 

TP-Playing as hard as you can every pitch of every out of every inning of every game that you play.

DP-A couple of years ago, your Bulldogs pulled off an improbable run through the Big South Tournament to earn a bid into the NCAA Regionals. Describe that week and what you think allowed your kids to accomplish the feat:

TP-We were playing well down the stretch going 8-4 in our last 12 regular season games. But it was not until Allen DeRatt pitched a 2-hit shutout against the #1 seed Birmingham Southern in Game 1 that our guys started believing they could win the whole thing. Everybody fed off that and we pitched really well the rest of the week going 4-1, 2.66 ERA, 36 K to 18 BB, and Opp BA was only .219. We remained confident throughout the championship game despite falling down 10-0 early. We just kept telling them that if we could get into their bullpen we had a chance. They never gave up, just kept pecking away and when we gave the ball to Deratt down 10-5 in the 6th you could see on their faces that they believed they could win it all.

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

TP-Rob Vernon’s Grand Slam in the Big South Championship game that put us ahead of Liberty 11-10 after trailing 10-0 and Allen Deratt striking out PK Keller to win that Championship Game and the DOG PILE in the middle of Coastal Carolina’s infield that ensued.

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

TP-I cannot pick one single person. I have been very fortunate to surround myself with a lot of very good mentors like John Daurity, Tim Medlin, Bubba Dorman, Joe Hudak and Mike McGuire and have taken bits and pieces from each and every one of them.

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

TP-Buster Posey– Florida State, Matt LaPorta– Florida and Kevin Slowey– Winthrop

DP-What do you see as the biggest difference in high school-aged players today versus when you played? 

TP-The concept of TEAM and WINNING seemed more important when I played. There were no showcases and FALL BALL had just begun.

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

TP-I would have to go all the way back to Little League All-Stars where I started behind the Plate in front of Matthew LeCroy. He went on to star at Clemson, play in the Olympics and spent 8 years in the Big Leagues. I guess we know who motivated him, huh.

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

TP-Graduating from Newberry College, marrying Virginia Grace Shaw, and experiencing the birth of our daughter Ava Grace Perry.

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

TP-Matthew LeCroy– Belton Honea Path HS- (1st Round- Minnesota Twins), Chad Roper– Belton Honea Path HS- (2nd Round- Minnesota Twins), Ryan Kane– Presbyterian College- (2nd Round Anaheim Angels).

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

TP-My parents- Their unconditional love for each other and for their kids has made me strive to be the best husband and father that I can be.

DP-Who is your favorite athlete outside of baseball?

TP-Junior Seau- No doubt First Ballot Hall of Famer. I had the privilege of playing golf with him a couple years ago and what an experience it was. He is as genuine and down to earth as anyone I have ever met.

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

TP-Kevin Slowey– Because he pitched against us in the Big South and he doesn’t have explosive stuff but wins Big League games because he locates a FB to both sides of the plate and competes down zone. Ty Wigginton– because he is from UNC Asheville and you never know when he might absolutely destroy a catcher on a play at the plate.

DP-Who is your favorite MLB team? 

TP-America’s Team, The Atlanta Braves, of course. How could you grow up in the south and not love the Braves?

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

TP-Probably bowling because I am better at it than Golf.

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

TP-College Football

DP-What are some of your hobbies? 

TP-Golf, Bowling, Traveling, Cooking

DP-What is your favorite movie?

TP-Bull Durham

DP-Who is your favorite actor? Actress?

TP-Kevin Costner, Meg Ryan

DP-What is your favorite meal?

TP-Steak! Filets, Strips, Ribeyes, Porterhouses, Prime Rib, I love them all!

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

TP-That I am a Fantastic Cook!

DP-If you could have dinner with three people in history, who would they be and why? 

TP-Cal Ripken Jr. – to ask him how he did it night in and night out and thank him for playing the game as hard as he did for as long as he did; Hank Aaron to thank him for what he did for baseball and the Atlanta Braves and apologize to him for the way he was treated along the way; Doug Shaw Sr., the late, great football coach at Myrtle Beach High School. I would not only want to pick his brain about football and coaching and life but also tell him what a great daughter and grand-daughter he has and how lucky I am to spend every day with them.

DP-Where do you see yourself in ten years? 

TP-Hopefully still in College Baseball. If not, I would like to scout or possibly even athletic administration at the College or HS level.

DP-What is your opinion on the new rules that the NCAA recently adopted in regards to roster limitations, the APR and the 25% scholarship rule?

TP-I do not like the 25% rule because it makes it very difficult for Mid-Majors that are not fully-funded. I do, however, like the limitations that have been placed on squad size and amount of scholarship players. I think you are going to see more and more parity at every level of College Baseball and also see more Mid-Majors making trips to Omaha.

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

TP-Take more responsibility for yourself and your future. Do not rely on your parents to do everything. College coaches are not concerned with how interested a parent is in their program. You need to hand-write the letters and emails and contact the coaches personally! We need to know how interested YOU are.

DP-Coach Perry, we really appreciate your time for DP and the great responses you provided us!