Quotes from Arizona State Baseball Head Coach Tim Esmay

June 2, 2010

Arizona State head baseball coach Tim Esmay

On Arizona State baseball tradition:
“This is obviously a very special place for me.  It has been since I’ve been growing up.  Coming and watching the Sun Devils when I was young enough to remember Bob Horner going up to hit.  There is a lot of tradition and I understand it because I’ve been on the outside watching it.  And now having the opportunity to be inside it and play here and then be able to coach.  In my opinion, there is no other place and there will never be another place.  I’m just ecstatic to think I have the opportunity to keep coming every day and put on this uniform.  It is a great feeling.”

On being named the permanent head baseball coach:
“That’s been the plan the whole year and it has been a great ride.  What’s nice is there is some settling with the coaching staff.  I’m just so excited and ecstatic with the job they’ve done.  It is really nice to know we’re solid and we’re going to be back here.  And that allows no distractions.  Do we need to be looking somewhere else because there is no other place to look?  I’m excited to know that we’re all in that stable mode and we have nothing but a clear head going into the post season.”

On learning he secured the job permanently:
“Right after [the team] got back from Stanford we started talking a little bit.  And [Sr. Assoc. AD Don] Bocchi was great.  Obviously, that was a great phone call he had with me.  I had a nice conversation with Lisa [Love] and President Michael Crow.  He had a nice phone call to me, which I thought was really classy and very positive.  It has been really tough the last couple days, to keep this in.  Obviously this is one of those places I’ve always wanted to be at.  And I’m happy I’m going to have that opportunity.”

On his Arizona State heritage:
“My wife graduated from Arizona State, my brother graduated from Arizona State.  My mom and dad, my wife’s mom.  You just got down the list, there are a lot of Sun Devils.  It is pretty special for everyone involved and the whole family.  What an honor this is, that it is actually playing true.”    

On recruiting now the head-coaching job is secure:
“We just had a meeting this morning.  We have done a good job at backgrounds and all the stuff we need to do.  That is the other positive about this decision being made right now.  Now there is no would ‘of, should ‘of, could ‘ofs.  It is full go.  We are very active in recruiting, and recruiting is the most important thing.” 

On the response to earning the job:
“It has been really great to hear from a lot of people I know in this game and former players.  I’ve been in baseball for over 20 some years and it has been really nice, the support.  Obviously the biggest thing is the fans have been great this year.  The atmosphere at Packard has been incredible and the kids have been great.  It has been such a great experience and last night (at the team banquet) was neat.  I really appreciated the way Lisa [Love] approached it and announced it. My wife and my son Cooper said, ‘Dad, do you realize this has happened? How long you have been working for this?’  And that response was truly exciting.”


Arizona State vice president for athletics Lisa Love

On choosing Tim Esmay for the head-coaching position:
“I don’t think you can underestimate the impact that something like that has. Sometimes when you are just watching a coach work, especially when you have as many players that are available to a coach on a baseball team, I was particularly impressed with his management of the depth on the roster. I think as we go into the latter part of the season, I was impressed.  And that is not an easy dynamic.  You have more than one player that can play more than one position on any given night, with a roster this rich.  This is not an easy dynamic for a coach to manage.  What can be attitudinal challenges by ball players who don’t get enough time or who are frustrated. I was impressed at how by altering the line-up opportunities and changing this a little bit and changing that, I felt like I was watching someone who prepared the psychology, the confidence and depth of the roster going through the length of the season, preparing for post season.  As you look to your left and you look to your right, as you roll into the month of June, you have a lot of players with significant experience in significantly different areas.  The depth of our roster is better prepped and I liked that. 

“It is a touchy issue and some coaches manage that dynamic better than others.  I was impressed by the way Tim Esmay handled that type of roster dynamic in particular.  There seemed like the atmosphere could have been ripe for distraction.  That did not become the headline.  And what didn’t because the headline is just as telling in the quality of the leadership and the ability to keep 20-year olds focused is impressive.  I watched the dynamic closely, the interplay between the coaching staff closely, the roster management closely.  I thought what it came down to was the old wives tale we’re often told, ‘if it’s not broken, [don’t fix it]’.  There was high, high interest in the university baseball community in being a head coach at Arizona State and I prepped both ways.  When you are looking something that is going remarkably well and there is a lightness in the stadium and high performance by the team and coaching staff and a fan base that is absolutely illuminated and fund raising at the highest level and a comfort-ability with Tim’s style.  This calm, good sense of humor, warmth, value-driven person that Tim Esmay is.  Then you say, ‘if it is right in front of you and it is going extremely well, why would you interfere?’ Let performers perform. In some cases you can look at it from a coaching vantage point and say don’t over coach. Or in my case, don’t over administrate.  Don’t make it harder.  It is right there and it is going extremely well.

“I think it was quite apparent that this was very well received.  It goes with out saying, and your library of information can speak to this, eight of our 10, Pac-10 teams are in post-season play. To play those series and win those series over the course of the last few months speaks volumes, when the Conference is rising, or has risen.” 

On Esmay’s recruiting ability:
“If I wasn’t comfortable with his ability to maintain the high standard of this baseball program, recruiting, decision making, x’s and o’s, coaching, roster management, he would not have been given the job.  I am extremely comfortable with his familiarity with talent as a recruiter and the staff he has committed to and their ability to compliment what he brings to the table.  The program is too important. This is an iconic program for the community.  There is not gratuitous gesture here.  He is a very fine human being. It is based on his ability to get the job done in all facets of it.  So yes I believe he will recruit very affectively.”

On choosing a Sun Devil for the head-coaching position:
“If you have identified a Sun Devil that you believe in from the talent perspective and what they can bring to the table, relative to the program, they’re a commodity.  They’re a commodity in themselves.  But because there are high program standards, a commodity is valuable if they are able to deliver the goods.  In other words, I don’t put those types of boundaries or limits.  What is always the best end of the story is when a Sun Devil is the best person for the job.”

On the selection process:
“I think as Coach Esmay is developing a roster, I’m doing the same thing.  We will have a contingency plan because the program is critical for us.  Whatever you plan you have, you are ready to go.  And it would be aggressive with an attempt to put the program in great leadership hands.  About midpoint in the season it because apparent that the red phone wasn’t ringing all the time, that this thing was going smoothly, aside from wins.  Wins are compelling but the other aspect of this, from a value standpoint, is the substance of the program.  All it did, from week to week, from month to month, was continually impress.  Then it became apparent to me, from the last part of the Pac-10 season, that we had our coach.  The announcement was such, that we could eliminate distraction.”


Arizona State sophomore first baseman Riccio Torrez

On Esmay being named head coach:
“We’re excited to have him.  I don’t think there could have been a better choice for a head coach.  He brings energy to the locker room and the dug out.  He gets players loose. It has been a heck of a ride so far this year and it is all because of him and the rest of the coaching staff.”

On Esmay’s coaching style:
“I think he is a player’s coach.  He keeps it real loose.  He keeps it fun and makes everyone want to come to the yard everyday. The type of energy he has and passion for coaching, I knew he was right for the job.”

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