Coaches Corner: Dan Roszel – College of Charleston


roszeldan-head09.jpgCoaches Corner – Dan Roszel, College of Charleston: Dan Roszel is in his second season as the Cougars recruiting coordinator and pitching coach. After a stint at Gardner-Webb, Roszel landed back in this area following a stay at Florida Gulf Coast. Roszel is very passionate about the game, teaching college-aged kids and his family. In his spotlight, Roszel took quite a bit of time to give us a glimpse of who he is and what drives him.

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

11 years. I got into coaching because of my love of the game. My goal was to make it to the big leagues like most players, but I fell short of that goal and the next best job to that was to be a coach and possibly help others fulfill their dreams.

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

The most rewarding aspect to me is getting a chance to make an impact and mentor young men as they turn into men. We as coaches get to teach through the many up and downs of a baseball season/career and prepare our players for life in the real world.

DP-What does the term "coach" mean to you?


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

Though coaching looks glamorous from the outside looking in, coaches spend a tremendous amount of hours into being successful. Most people underestimate the amount of time required to be good at this profession. Coaching on the field is our reward after doing all of the emails, letters, office work, phone calls, recruiting travel…   

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?

roszeld-visit09.jpgI was a little crazy I guess. Actually, the explanation is very simple. During my senior year in high school I hurt my arm. In many ways, getting hurt molded into who I became today. I didn’t have a pitching coach growing up and didn’t have anyone there to protect my arm. I have always felt that my injury was something that could have been avoided. I had to take a different path than most after being injured. I had to figure things out for me if I was going to be able to do the thing I loved the most; hold that baseball in my hand and compete till the end of a game and win. I studied the game; read books, watched endless amount of games to study pitching mechanics, talked to every pitching coach I could contact, took care of my body and formulated a routine through weights and thera-bands and stretching that helped me stay on the field. I still went through plenty of pain to pitch, but like I said before, I am probably a little crazy and the thrill of winning outweighed the pain. I did learn early on that if I wasn’t going to pitch in the big leagues that I at least wanted to stay around this game and help kids learn how to pitch and do it without pain. I have a passion for teaching the game of baseball and endured a lot during my playing days to hopefully keep kids from repeating what happened to me. Money never factored into the equation when I first started because baseball was the life I knew and you couldn’t put a price on happiness.     

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

roszeld-family09.jpgThere is no balance. When it is recruiting season and baseball season, baseball wins. December and January is all family time. The thing I try to do the most is to be the best father/husband I can be to my wife and two girls. My first love is them, though baseball requires a lot of time. There is no true balance in this profession, we can only give 100% of our time to our families whenever we are given the chance and hope that our families understand that we are helping young men to become men and great fathers themselves one day.

DP-Quite a few rules have changed the recruiting game over the past 5 years. Which rule changes do you like, not like and how has it altered your approach to recruiting?

The rule change I like the most would have to be the Quiet Period from November-March. Much needed rest/recovery time and even more important family time. Which is a change in my stance on this rule after it first came out. I am a firm believer if games are being played then I want to be there, but after I had my first daughter Madyson, being at everything lost its luster. Now knowing that we can’t go out during that time eases my mind.

The biggest rule change that I believe is a negative for college coaches is the transfer rule. Many kids get pressured into signing or put ego ahead of feeling and play for the wrong program. Baseball is a funny sport in that it has as much to do mentally as it does physically. For most kids, they will never reach their full potential unless they are at the right place. Whether it is playing for the right coaching staff, playing time, academic atmosphere… I loved when kids had the chance to look at a certain environment and then make a decision to leave if they would have a better opportunity or fit elsewhere. We as coaches now can only hope that kids take everything into account before making decisions because their options are limited.  

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

As a player that means that you love the game and are a ‘baseball rat’, which plays the game with passion. As a coach it is someone who respects the game and runs a program in which his kids play the game with respect for their opponent and play the game enthusiastically.

DP-What is the definition of a "student-athlete"?

My definition would be an athlete who is first responsible for securing an education that will last a life time and open up many doors in life and also gives 100% energy to play his/her particular sport. Or I would accept a student that is a baseball player. 

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

I am still looking for my most memorable experience as a coach. I have too many memorable memories to mention from year to year that fuel my passion to coach.

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

The person who has influenced me the most is Dusty Rhodes. No, not the wrester, but Hall of Fame coach from University of North Florida. Coach Rhodes showed me what the true meaning of being a coach; from our early morning weight lifting to working on the field, to the endless hours spent on talking about the game.  

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

Matt Laporta-Cleveland Indians, Daniel Murphy-NY Mets, Chris Johnson-Houston  

DP-Do you have any superstitions? If so, what?

I have too many superstitions to mention. I look at my superstitions as how I prepare myself for the game.

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

The biggest difference from my day, which wasn’t that long ago to now, is the physicality present in the game. Kids are so much bigger, stronger and more athletic now.

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

6A Pitcher of The Year-Jacksonville, Florida. Second Team All-Region Pitcher University of North Florida, Pitch in a spring training game versus the Minnesota Twins as a member of Edison Community College

DP-What is your greatest high school thrill?

My greatest high school thrill would have to be throwing my only no-hitter versus Mandarin High School, the best hitting team in the area that year. My perfect game was lost to a later teammate of mine in college. I still say the umpire should have rung him up.   

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

My greatest thrills beyond high school have been marrying my best friend and understanding wife, along wiht the birth of my two daughter Madyson and Makenna. As a player it would have to be getting Hall of Famer Paul Molitor to cuss at me for getting him out on a bleeder to first base in an exhibition game. He probably didn’t like that I was smiling at him the entire time he ran out the ground out.

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

Ryan Freel, Bronson Arroyo, Jason Marquis

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

The person who has made the biggest impression on me would have to be my father. He broke his back to provide for our family and me personally to become a baseball player and college graduate. That work ethic he instilled in me long ago is something that I will never forget. I was fortunate to grow up in a loving household and to have parents that cared an awful lot about their son and his dreams. They are still very much a part of my life and love baseball as much as ever.

DP-What MLB feat in history do you wish you’d been inside the stadium to witness and why?

Without a doubt the MLB feat I would love to have seen in person would have been Cal Ripken, Jr. breaking the consecutive games streak. He epitomizes hard work and dedication in this game. It was amazing to see him go out and play each day and perform. What a chilling moment when he got to do a lap around the field and have the game stopped for him. Many other records will come and go, but this one will last throughout time.    

DP-Who is you favorite athlete outside of baseball?

My favorite athlete outside of baseball is Tiger Woods. I don’t follow his example off the field though, but enjoy watching him dominate the game.

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

Mariano Rivera and Albert Pujols. Mariano is unbelievable to watch as he dominates the closer role with one pitch. With how good technology and how big and strong hitters are these days it just hasn’t phased him. There is no one like him in the game. Albert is chosen for the same reason. He is such a pure hitter. We get to watch maybe the best hitter ever right before our own eyes. I just get amazed how he takes over the game and does things that seem impossible to do.

DP-Who is your favorite MLB team?

Chicago White Sox. Stop laughing. I grew up on the south side of Chicago until I was 10. That is when my father smartly moved us to the warm weather of Florida, but I still love the Sox; which hasn’t been too much to love lately. Well, 2005 World Series was a good moment.   

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

Racket Ball 

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


DP-What are some of your hobbies?

I love to go fishing with my daughter Madyson. My other hobby is doing whatever makes my girls happy. The playground at Chick Fil-A or otherwise, going to the beach, exploring in the woods, shopping…

DP-What is your favorite movie?

Dumb and Dumber

DP-Who is your favorite actor? Actress?

Will Smith and Jessica Alba

DP-What is your favorite meal?

Thanksgiving. I don’t think any meal can top this one in my books. Turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pie…Makes me want another round. Don’t know if I can wait a whole year to do it again. 

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

I am the only athlete and college graduate of my parents, older brother and two older sisters in my family.  

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

The three people I would most like to have dinner with would be George S. Patton III, Abner Doubleday and Nolan Ryan. George S. Patton III, I would be to ask him how he inspired all of those young men to battle for him and what it was like to be a General in WWII. Abner Doubleday, would be to see his vision of baseball and to ask him what it felt like to be responsible for firing the first shot in the Civil War. Lastly, Nolan Ryan would be more just because I loved to watch him pitch and because he was who inspired me to become a pitcher.       

DP-Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Ten years from now is tough to see. I love what I am doing as an assistant coach at the moment. I guess I would love to be a head coach and run my own program one day. I have no visions of where that would be; other than wherever it is will have to be a great place to raise my family.     

roszeldan2-visit09.jpgDP-Give a high school player who is reading this article one piece of advice.

High school players listen up. Play this game with passion. Do not play as if you are owed anything or as if you are God’s gift to the game. Respect those who have played before you and laid out the framework of the game. Honor them by always hustling, loving the game and caring that the game is played the right way. You have a responsibility to those who no longer play that the game is kept alive and doesn’t change. This is America’s pastime and should always remain that way. Please compete in the classroom as well as the field. You have to get your education and that starts with your work ethic in high school. Leave no regrets on or off of the field, because you will have plenty of other things to deal with later on in life and you will not want that to be in the back of your head. Good luck and God bless.

DP-Awesome stuff! Thanks so much for your time and good luck in 2010!