Coaches Corner with Mike Marron of Old Dominion University

Pre-Summer Trials

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By Jerry Shank
Maryland Scouting Director

Coaches’ corner highlights colleges and universities around the region and gives an opportunity for prospective student athletes to learn more about the program, coaching staff, and school.

Mike Marron
Old Dominion University
Pitching Coach

Coaching Career
2005-2009, UMass Lowell, Pitchers and Catchers
2009-2015, Stony Brook, Pitching Coach
2015-Present, Old Dominion, Pitching Coach

Recruited, coached, and developed eight MLB draft picks on the mound since 2011, including MLB pitchers Nick Tropeano and Jack Leathersich

Playing Career
2001-2005, College of the Holy Cross, Pitcher and Catcher

Please give a little background on the Old Dominion baseball program.

  • ODU has been one of the most successful baseball programs in the Mid-Atlantic since it was founded in 1930.
  • The program has earned eight NCAA Regional Appearances, most recently in 2014 after a 36-win season and a top 40 RPI ranking.
  • Old Dominion is a member of Conference USA, one of the highest ranked RPI baseball conferences in the country. ODU is one of only two schools in the Mid-Atlantic to be a member of this southern league.

What is unique to the program that the coaching staff and team take great pride in?

  • One of our main priorities as a coaching staff is to build a culture that fits the strengths of our players. We invest a great deal of time focusing on the qualities that will make us successful and working hard to refine those qualities on a daily basis. We believe our ability to master the simple but important fundamentals will make us successful and be the difference in the win loss column at the end of the year.

What do you look for in potential players?

  • We look for players who can make an impact in our program based on their athleticism, character, and competitiveness. We want players who believe being part of a winning culture is an important factor for their decision making in the recruiting process. We look for players who are winners now, but have the drive and ability to develop into impact players on a championship level team at the college level.

Are there any immediate “Red Flags” when recruiting players?

  • We pay close attention to how a recruit communicates and carries himself on and off the field. We look for guys who love baseball, and are excited to be a part of a culture and a team that is bigger than themselves.
  • High school athletes need to understand that their interactions with people, whether in person, over the phone, or in social media, are sometimes just as important a part of the evaluation process as their play on the field.

Any interesting facts or stories about the program?

  • Our opening day lineup featured a set of twins, juniors Kurt and Sam Sinnen. Kurt is a catcher / Designated Hitter and Sam is a Right-Handed Pitcher.

Are there any base numbers you are looking for on the academic side?

  • Our team GPA was a 3.16 this fall and has been consistently at the 3.0 mark over the last several years. Therefore we are looking for athletes who are good students that value a strong college education. Old Dominion offers academic money for students that excel in the classroom and have a good combination of GPA and SAT/ACT scores.

Have any players gone on to play professionally from the program? If so, how many? 

  • ODU has developed over 100 players selected in the MLB draft with three first-round picks, including AL MVP and CY Young winner Justin Verlander.
  • More recently, our Head Coach Chris Finwood has coached and developed 25 draft picks in his last seven years as a head coach.

Do you have any advice for prospective student athletes as they go through the recruiting process?

  • Focus on being the best player you can be today. We are looking for impact players at the high school and travel levels. College opportunities are a byproduct of player's abilities to perform well and consistently, whether it be in a PBR showcase, a high school playoff game, or a midweek summer league game. Sometimes you will see coaches watching your game and sometimes you will not. Do not let who you think is in attendance dictate the energy level you bring to the park that day.
  • If you are truly interested in a school, contact the coaching staff directly, and use their name. Do not send a mass email or form letter with the headline saying only "Coach."
  • If you are communicating with a school that is interested in you, invest the time to go visit the campus, and attend a camp if offered.

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