Recruiting to Rebuild

The Terps are hoping that by hiring Coach Bakich Maryland can rejuvenate their recruiting efforts and rebuild the baseball program.

With the hiring of Erik Bakich the culture of the University of Maryland baseball team has drastically changed, especially the programs emphasis on recruiting. Coach Bakich, the former recruiting coordinator for Vanderbilt University, is known around the college baseball community as a top-notch recruiter. During his time at Vanderbilt, Coach Bakich brought in blue chip players year after year. His recruiting classes were always in the top 25 in college baseball and specifically in 2005 he had the number one class in the country.

Coach Bakich was enthusiastic in explaining he reasoning for accepting the job at Maryland. “Well the reason I jumped at this job, and the reason I am so fired up, and couldn't wait to get here was because of the opportunity to recruit and to develop players.”

His first recruiting class at the University of Maryland was an excellent start to rebuilding the program. All seven of the high school players committed to Maryland are rated in the top 500 players in the country according to the latest Perfect Game rankings.

A major concern to Coach Bakich is top players from Maryland leaving the state to go play other big time programs. “They are going to be 15 players playing in the ACC and SEC this year from the state of the Maryland not on our team. That is the difference between postseason and not. [Maryland] is not a state where you will get your entire team from the state like Texas, California, and Florida do. But it is a state where there are two players one year or five players one year, and you try to get every single one of those guys.”

Coach Bakich was very adamant that he was not going to allow other schools to steal the top talent from Maryland. “There is a lot untapped talent and potential every year in that state. Recruiting is the backbone to any successful sports team in college. You have to make certain you own your state. If that means putting a fence around your boarder then you have to do it. In our case that means the state of Maryland. If you don't control your own state schools like Virginia, North Carolina, and Vanderbilt will and that's unacceptable. We are putting are foot down and we've put it down! We may not get every single player in the state of Maryland, but we're going to try to get every single player that can play at the ACC level. That has been our mission statement at a recruiting level. “

Its obvious from listening to Coach Bakich he is serious about using recruiting to turn Maryland into a perennial powerhouse in the ACC. He has a goal of keeping the top talent in Maryland, now how is he going to do that?

Well Coach Bakich hired one of the most successful high school coaches of all time, Bernie Walters, to be his Director of Baseball Operations. By hiring Bernie Walters, Coach Bakich will be able to establish a line of communication with high school coaches that did not exist in the past. Coach believes Mr. Walters has already made a major impact. “I give him a lot of credit for the reason why we have tremendous response from the high school coaches thus far. We have been able to share our vision with them of our program. We have been able to have them over for a football game and have constant contact with them. I think the lines of communication are open now. Every high school coach in the state knows that we want to know about their best players, we want to see their best players, and we want to recruit their best players.”

The University of Maryland baseball team is definitely in good hands with Coach Bakich. There may be a few bumps in the road as Coach lays the foundation of the program, but good things are to come in the future.

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