Building great teams. It just occurred to me, but not for the first time, that I really enjoy the building process. Today, I’ve been reminded of how fortunate I’ve been, in building a number of teams over the years, to coach alongside some outstanding men who’ve helped mold me into the coach I am today. Those men have been instrumental in changing the lives of lots of ballplayers.
From my earliest days of coaching my son Luke’s teams, when I was fortunate enough to coach with Pat Ingram, Greg Allen, Jim Ryan, and my brother Jerry Burton, assembling and then being a part of a group of high quality, enthusiastic partners made for such a tremendous experience. Over the years, as the team names have changed, many of those same guys that I met simply because I happened to have a son the same age as theirs have continued to be at my side (or rather, I have been at their side). Over the years, the list continues to grow: Robert Northington, Greg Porter, Eric Vettel, Kevin Murray, Dave Carey, Kevin Seidel, Brian Kent, Rick Emery, Chris Marshall, JT Enoch, Mike Pausic…the names go on and on.
At Covenant, building our staff has been an awesome experience. Starting with our AD Brooks Berry, and adding Keith Werman, Larry Mitchell, Billy Pollard, Steve Wilkins, Joe Koshansky, Jon Kessick, Trey Bickers, and Robert Word…that’s a lineup of coaches that rivals many college programs. I am very fortunate that these men have decided to not only invest in the players and the school at Covenant, but that they were willing to invest with and in me.
To all who have shared the dugout with me over the years, I just want you to know that I am blessed to serve with you. Thanks to you all. -Jeff Burton