Tyler Bratton - "It's a dream come true. I am just thankful for the opportunity. And I will make the most of it.
"I'm from West Point (Mississippi) which is about 20 to 25 minutes down the road. I've always been a Mississippi State fan, and I've always bled maroon. I've been coming to baseball games since I was four or five years old. I can remember being here when Burke Masters hit his grand slam home run in the regionals. My daddy and I were in our box seats above the first base dugout.
"I even came to their camps for seven or eight straight years. In fact, when I was either six or seven (years-old) I was actually too young by two months, but they let me come anyway. I was the youngest kid at the camp.
"I loved coming to their camps and always told myself if I could ever get the chance to play at Mississippi State I wanted to do that. Luckily, it turned out that I was able to play here two years ago."
I wonder if you can beat a Lane Burroughs record. He said it only took him about a second to accept John Cohen's offer to work for him on his baseball staff here. How long did it take you?
"I would say it took me half a second (laugh). I think I have the record on that. He offered me it and I said, 'heck yeah, I will do it'."
Since this is the first time MSU has had a Director of Baseball Operations, do you know exactly what that job includes?
"I have an idea, but I'm just thankful for the opportunity. I've read a lot of bios of other Director of Baseball Operations, like the ones in the SEC. I'm kind of getting a feel about it from reading those."
You've seen John Cohen teams in the past. What are your thoughts about his teams from the perspective of a guy who has recently completed his playing career as an opponent of his?
"They have always been aggressive and played very hard. They are like a bunch of warriors. If you ever get up on them, you can't count them out because they are always going to come scratching back. They are also very well-coached and always executed well."
Coach Cohen is an intense person and coach.
"He is, but I'm an intense kind of guy, too. Because I wasn't a home run hitter, I always had to be very aggressive at the plate and on the base paths. I really think it's going to work well."
Since you've been hired, something has changed in your personal life. How about talking about that.
"Originally my fiancee, Bree Munger, who is from Alabama, and I were going to get married July 25th, 2009, but since I'm now employed (laugh) that's helped out big-time. Now, we are looking at maybe January 3rd."
How did you two wind up getting together.
"A few years ago I had to do a History project and I was visiting the girls dorm. A girl in my class was friends with Bree. And I had to go to that girl's room to pick up the history report so that I could write a paper on it for my class. When I walked through the door I had just left baseball practice and I still had my Mississippi State t-shirt and my sweat pants on. At the time, we were ranked number 1 in the country. When I walked in, there were 10 or 12 girls and they came over and started talking to me. And Bree was one of them. All the other girls eventually left, but Bree stayed around. We kept talking. And a couple of months later we started dating. Now, we are engaged."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.