Pilot coaching tree sprouts yet again
July 31, 2012
SHREVEPORT, La. - The past few months have been rewarding for LSU Shreveport's Head Baseball Coach Rocke Musgraves in learning that two coaches that coached under him at LSUS now have a head coaching job of their own. Brent Porche was named last month to take over the baseball program at LSU Alexandria while Chris Bertrand, today, was named the Head Coach at the University of Texas-Tyler.
Research has been done in the area of coaching that proved that a coach will impact more people in one year than most people will impact in their whole lives. This study was done by Dr. Jeff Duke entitled Three Dimensional Coaching which helps coaches learn how to coach the heart behind the number and not just the x's and o's. "Coaches have to make a conscious decision of how they want to affect their players. Coach Bertrand and Coach Porche are two great examples of three dimensional coaches; they not only coach coach strategy and focus, they coach the player's heart and I'm sure they will have positive impacts on the players they work with," said Musgraves.
Porche played four seasons and coached two under Musgraves at LSUS. Following his stint as the Graduate Assistant for the Pilots Porche moved to NCAA DI Louisiana Tech in Ruston as the Volunteer Assistant but now has a team of his own. He takes over a program in desperate need of a face lift in having only one 20-win season in the past five years. The LSUA Generals are a member of the NAIA but are not affiliated with a conference as they compete as a Division I Independent.
"I've been set on this path all my life but I would not be here today without the support of my wife, Crystal, and all my family who allowed me to follow my dream. I owe it to them, Coach Rocke, Coach Simoneaux (La. Tech) and all my former players, teammates, and colleagues to take advantage of this opportunity and create a successful program," said Porche.
While playing at LSUS, Coach Musgraves noticed something special about the Baton Rouge native, "We asked Brent to join our coaching staff because he had a natural "feel" for the game. Those guys don't come around often. He's the son of a coach and you can tell he's been around the game all his life. I know Brent will be a successful coach because he truly cares about the players."
Brent's father, Chris Porche, coached him at Redemptorist High School in Baton Rouge in which he learned a lot from early, "Watching my father coach, growing up, I learned how to run a program. I wanted to follow in his footsteps."
Porche recalls lessons he learned from Coach Musgraves, "Rocke taught me so many things about the game. He taught me not to be afraid to think outside the box and be progressive, but the most important thing I learned from him is that being a coach is so much more than teaching hitting or pitching. It is my responsibly as a coach to care about the players individually and to help them to become men."
Bertrand takes over a more storied program that has had some tremendous success posting six straight 30-win seasons. The UT-Tyler Patriots are a member of the NCAA Division III in the American Southwest Conference. The former Pilot Pitching Coach and Recruiting Coordinator definitely got some great experience while on Musgraves' staff as he recruited last year's team that was number 1 in the NAIA for six straight polls and one of the greatest teams in LSUS Baseball history with a 54-6 overall record and a third place finish at the NAIA World Series.
"While I am excited and humbled by the new opportunity, I leave behind so much of myself. The past 7 years have been some of the most wonderful times of my life. I will never be able to put into words what the LSUS Baseball program means to me. I am so proud of what we have built, and I believe that the best is yet to come," said Bertrand.
As Bertrand begins a new chapter in his coaching career, he will remember the chance he was given to coach with Coach Musgraves, "I will never be able to express enough gratitude to Rocke Musgraves. His teachings will be carried on to generations of players to come because of the impact he has made on my life and my career. The most important thing that Rocke taught to me, and to everyone in our program, is that of having a 'servant attitude'! No one gives more of themselves to the program than Rocke, and it is from that example that I hope to have the same impact on the lives of student/athletes in my new endeavour."
While excited for Bertrand, Coach Musgraves will miss having him on his staff, "Chris has been a tireless and loyal worker for LSUS Baseball; he has played a huge role in the success of our program. I'm excited for him, but at the same time, I will definitely miss my friend. Chris cares about his players and I know his Christian heart will reveal itself in how he leads and serves his program. I know we'll be on the phone a couple of times a week, so he won't be able to get rid of me that easily."
In 24 years of coaching Musgraves has had the opportunity to watch a lot of coaches and players move on to develop their careers and build families, "Its a mixed bag; on one hand you hate to see them leave, but on the other hand it's awesome to watch the person they become. I've been fortunate enough to watch a lot of my former players move into the coaching profession. I have to admit - that makes me feel good. I pray that God will continue to provide me with the opportunity to use baseball as my ministry and hopefully help me encourage the people in our program to follow suit."
Others that have gone on to be baseball coaches that played and or coached under Musgraves include but are not limited to Al Cantwell the Head Coach at C.E. Byrd HS in Shreveport; Ramsey Branch is Cantwell's Assistant Coach at C.E. Byrd HS in Shreveport; Bubba Jordan is the Assistant Coach at Southwood HS in Shreveport and Chase Cox is the Assistant Coach at Airline HS in Bossier City and Pat Jolley, the assistant at Centenary College. Brandon Bravata, the NAIA record holder for most hit-by-pitches in a single season, will join Porches' staff at LSUA this upcoming season after having being a high school Head Coach since his playing days at LSUS.
In addition to area coaches, Musgraves also has a few more throughout North America with Todd Hubka as the Head Coach at Prairie Baseball Academy in Canada where Musgraves gets most of his Canadian recruits; Scott Rhodes, the Head Coach at Alamogordo HS in New Mexico and he also is the Head Coach of the Lethbridge Bulls where a few of the Pilots players go to play their collegiate summer ball; Josh Constant is the Owner and Operator of Louisiana Baseball Academy in Houma, LA.
On Musgraves current staff at LSUS includes two former players of his as well with Brandon Magierowski played three seasons (2005-2007) dawning the Pilot uniform after playing one season in Canada at the Prairie Baseball Academy. Magierowski began his coaching career at the Academy before returning to LSUS last season for his first year on Musgrave's staff.
Brent Lavallee coached the past two seasons at LSUS after having played for the Pilots for four years but was in the program as a player five (2005-2009) due to a red shirt season separating his junior and senior year due to an injury. He is expected to be a candidate for the vacancy left by Bertrand.
With all of his former players and coaches now becoming head and assistant coaches at all levels of the game Musgraves is beginning to feel aged but blessed, "I'm feeling a bit like a paw-paw with all these guys going on to be head coaches in other places. It is such a rewarding profession."