Interview with Will Bolt

What you could tell about Will was his passion about the game he no longer plays in a college setting. Last week he traveled down to Kansas and he is making the short trek up to Omaha this weekend to see the Huskers play, in fact any game Nebraska plays within a reasonable driving distance he attempts to make.

First of all I'd like to thank HuskerKid for his part in setting up this interview, to me he is the college baseball guru and without him I don't think this could have been done.

This is my first interview with an athlete not in high school and not playing football, but what you could easily tell about Will was his passion about the game he no longer plays in a college setting. Last week he traveled down to Kansas and he is making the short trek up to Omaha this weekend to see the Huskers play, in fact any game Nebraska plays within a reasonable driving distance he attempts to make. While no longer plays he is always there to support his team. He easily has a more vocal passion for baseball than some football recruits have about football that I've talked too.

The first question I had to ask was about his current situation and his immediate plans for the future "I'll be going for my Masters this fall at Lincoln in Athletic Administration, it falls under Education Administration, but it's an offshoot of that. My undergrad degree is in communication." Well, with an his sights set on a Masters Degree related in sports one can assume he has his eyes set on continuing to remain in the sport he loves so dearly "That's what my plan is. I want to stay in baseball in some capacity."

Well of course the next obvious question was whether Nebraska is a place this native Texan would like to remain and perhaps one-day coach "Right now it's kind of a wait and see thing. I have no plans for the immediate future. But, Nebraska is home to me now. That's what I'm staying here to take my Masters. I love NU and it's an honor to be associated with them."

Now, I admit, I'm not up to all the rules on baseball. Are there GA's like in football? If so how many, etc. I had Will explain this to me and found out it is much more rigid that football "There aren't GA's per se, they have essentially what you would call a volunteer coach. They don't get paid, they still have to pay for all their classes, they are a volunteer in every aspect. They have to really love the sport to do it for free, but it's a great learning experience. It's something I'm definitely interested in doing at Nebraska, but there can only be one volunteer at a time and right now that's Brandt Vlieger." But still having four months even before his graduate courses begin Will is certain to get his shot.

We then talked about how he ended up at Nebraska, being from Texas "Coach Van Horn was recruiting me at his previous school even before he took the job at Nebraska. Once he came here he kept recruiting me. Once I took a visit up here I was sold. I came in and played as a freshman and I don't regret a thing about it. I don't think I could have made a better decision." Playing fulltime as a freshman isn't as rare as say a person playing football as a freshman, but it also isn't an easy task. This is what allowed Will to set the all-time hit record at Nebraska "Coming in here and playing right away I learned on the fly, I didn't have any major injuries as I progressed I had every chance in the world to set that record I played 4 years and played almost every inning in that time." That record that Will set was broken this year by Matt Hopper "Records are made to be broken. I knew if Matt stayed healthy he would break it, it was just a matter of time. He's a solid player."

But, what Will is most famous for is being one of the members of the 2001 Husker baseball team that made it the College World Series for the first time in Nebraska history, I asked Will about that season and if there was ever a point that they knew they were going to make it "We knew coming into 2001 that we'd have a good team, I honestly think we had a better team in 2000 when we lost to Stanford in the Super Regional. So coming into 2001 everyone knew we could do it. No one was afraid to talk about it; it was something you didnt keep quiet about in the dugout or at practice. We had the talent and we had the confidence." While the Huskers didn't win a game in the CWS that year, or the following year Will did have some input on this years team "I'm not sure people around here recognize what a feat it is to make the College World Series, it's something that isn't easy to do. The fans might start taking it for granted and that's the one thing they shouldn't do. This year's team is near the top of the Big XII and that's where they need to be. I don't know where they'll end up when it's all said and done, but right now they are where they need to be."

As for the "new" coaches this year Will had very little to say, "They aren't new coaches, they've been there. Anytime you lose a coach like Coach Van Horn things can take a change for the worse and they haven't. The only thing that Coach Van Horn leaving may have done is make this year's team find its identity. But the concepts are the same. Get the runners on and move them over. As long as they make things happen on the bases they're going to be ok."

I finished up the interview by asking Mr. Bolt what position he preferred while playing at Nebraska as he sometimes alternated between shortstop and second base "Second base is what I would call a more natural position for me, it was just a fit for me. But, shortstop was more fun. I don't think I could choose which one I liked better it was nice to be able to play both."

As I stated in an earlier post we will be keeping in contact with Will as the season progresses. He was gracious enough to give us a little time every couple of weeks to talk about the team, how they are progressing, and where they may end up.

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