In addition to the freshman on the new University of Louisville baseball roster, the Cardinals also have a couple new faces on the coaching staff. Eric Snider joined the U of L staff in July after Chris Lemonis was named the new coach at Indiana. Volunteer assistant Adam Vrabel also joins the staff after a year at Charleston Southern.
Snider arrived at Louisville following 16 seasons as an assistant at Illinois, including the last six as associate head coach. The Waterloo, Iowa native will serve as the team's hitting coach and recruiting coordinator.
A busy schedule, including many miles spent recruiting during his first weeks on the job, has kept Snider active during the few months that the Derby City has been home. Cardinal Authority visited with the new assistant following the first practice of fall ball.
Cardinal Authority: What are your impressions of the roster this season?
Eric Snider: Through the first couple weeks of individual workouts, and I'm talking from a hitters standpoint, we lost a few players, obviously quite a few guys to the draft, so we are reloading. I'm sure these guys who didn't get their at bats or the playing time that they now see their goal of playing every day. That's why we are getting the effort and see how hard they are working. It's been really fun to see.
CA: The team worked together for the first time. What did you think?
Snider: A lot of energy. A lot of effort. The kids are showing that they are responsible and accountable for all that they are doing and they communicate, so from a coaching standpoint its good to see. I'm throwing a little bit of things at them that they've probably never gone through, but again, they are communicating with me about how they feel and how things are going.
CA: Having been a coach at Illinois, you are familiar with many of the players that Louisville has recruited from the Midwest. How nice is it to have some familiarity when going into a new position?
Snider: I think it's helpful. Obviously the kids that ended up here at Louisville that I knew because I was recruiting at another place, they are very, very athletic. Seeing their work habits, it's a joy. I'm glad I'm here and I'm glad I'm working with these guys. I knew Corey Ray when he was playing in the eighth grade and to see where he is at now is fun.
CA: In addition to your coaching duties, you also serve as the program's recruiting coordinator. Do you enjoy the recruiting aspect of the game?
Snider: Yeah, I enjoy it. Any time you are traveling around, and looking around to find the best fit for the current situation it feels good. Obviously my ties in Illinois are pretty strong and I'm looking forward to knowing the towns and the high schools in Kentucky. I'm learning that.
CA: You've been around college baseball longer than these players, do you think the change in competition from the AAC to the ACC has sunk in with the guys on the team yet?
Snider: I think the guys do understand the ACC, but baseball is baseball. If they go out and do things the right way and continue to compete like they always have under Coach McDonnell, I think we'll be in great shape.
CA: You hit the recruiting as soon as you were hired and now straight into fall ball. Have you had an opportunity to visit the community much?
Snider: I've been in the office and I've been on the road. It's fun to be able to go to the Louisville – Miami football game last Monday night, that was awesome. Also, to be able to see Louisville pound Murray was a great time. That's been about it, but so far so good.
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