Top Coach Podcast preview- Lindsay Meggs, University of Washington

Lindsay Meggs (photo courtesy University of Washington athletics)

Lindsay Meggs (photo courtesy University of Washington athletics)

Since taking over the program in 2009, Lindsay Meggs has elevated Washington baseball into the national conversation. The subject of Jack Warren’s latest Top Coach Podcast speaks on the picturesque campus at “U dub,” the momentum of NCAA Regional appearances in two of the last three seasons and more:
Introduction to coaching

“To this day, I’ll go on record as saying that maybe the best coach I ever had was my high school football coach. Benny Pierce was a legend and still is and as I look back on those days, I realize how simple he kept it. We concentrated on a few fundamental things… it kept us in every game and we were disciplined enough to win most of those games. I never forgot that, and I’ve tried to carry that forward on the baseball field with our approach to practice and player development.”

The University of Washington campus

“The entire Pacific Northwest, you’ve just got to see it to believe it… the University of Washington is as beautiful as you can imagine, it’s got big city life in a rural environment. It’s the best of both worlds. As big as this campus is and as big as [Seattle] is, you still have a small town feel, our folks on campus have done a great job creating a kind of Olympic village with the athletics program, everybody knows everybody.”

Competing in the Pac 12 Conference

“You have to make sure your players are prepared, competitive [and] tough enough to deal with the adversity that goes into playing in the Pac 12. We love to have kids that played other sports because they’re well-rounded and there’s an element of toughness that comes with playing other sports.”

University of Washington's Husky Ballpark (photo courtesy University of Washington athletics)

University of Washington’s Husky Ballpark (photo courtesy University of Washington athletics)

“I think that Pac 12 is as good as it’s ever been… a lot of it has to do with the fact that everybody is committed to facilities, retaining their coaches, funding the program and maintaining a competitive culture. There’s a lot of pride on the West coast, not only in the Pac 12 but in the Big West, the West Coast conference.”

The road to “U dub”

“Ritch Price (current head coach at Kansas, who was at De Anza College at the time) tracked me down, I was working inside sales in the Silicon Valley, and I gradually realized that [coaching] was what I wanted to do. When I left De Anza, I had a good friend, Rich Hill (current head coach at San Diego), who was coaching at Cal Lutheran. He’s like a brother to me, and gave me the opportunity to get my feet wet. I got [head coaching jobs] at Oxnard College for a year and Long Beach City College for three years- we had some success there and I ended up at Chico College for 13 years. We had a great run there. It caught the eye of Ron Prettyman at Indiana State, and we worked together for three years before I got the job at Washington.”

Culture and Leadership

“The culture we talk about is really made up of our players, we talk about that all the time. That all begins with getting quality people around you and having quality people that you work for… I think the most important element is player-driven leadership. When the younger guys see how the older guys have evolved, that makes a big difference. For them to reinforce all the things we’ve said, I think that helps our kids block out the noise that you’re trying to keep them from getting caught up in.”

“One of the most rewarding things in this whole deal for me is having conversations with guys years after they played here. We always laugh because these kids reflect on some of those life skills… learning today and leading tomorrow. This game is the best teacher you’re going to have in terms of those life skills. It’s great to get those e-mails, those conversations, those letters and texts… that’s what this is all about in the long run.”

Check out the full interview at http://topcoachpodcast.com/