Alumni return to coach former teams

Jacob Turner , Reporter

Having the chance to come back and coach for one’s alma mater is an opportunity many athletes might long for. For JR Lynn and Jordan Hall, it is a reality.

Lynn serves as the first base and outfielders coach and is in his first year with the varsity baseball program. Lynn said he decided to come back when coach Kevin Lynch approached him to help.

Lynn graduated in 2006 and played for the program all four years. He was even coached by Lynch on junior varsity, something that left a lasting impression on him.

“My favorite part about playing here was playing for coach Lynch,” Lynn said.

Lynn said he is just excited to be back in the sport he loves.

“The most rewarding part of being a coach is being involved in baseball again,” Lynn said.

Lynch believes that Lynn’s playing time here has helped him to become a better coach.

“JR is an extension of me, but as an assistant coach he is the coach that the players can go to if I am being too hard on them,” Lynch said. “He connects well with them because he has been there.”

Lynch has helped Lynn to handle different scenarios on the field.

“He has taught me a lot like how to prepare the field and certain things to do during different situations during the game,” Lynn said.

Senior pitcher Fausto Turro had nothing but positive words to say about Lynn.

“JR is the man for real. He knows a lot about baseball, and his advice is always useful. I’m glad to have him as a coach for my senior year,” Turro said.

Lynn says he wants to be a head coach in the future, “but not at this level,” and Lynch believes he can do just that.

“If he continues to learn and watch me or other coaches on how to be a head coach and what it takes off the field, I think one day JR would be a great head coach,” Lynch said. “He does a good job of explaining the little details that go along with baseball.”

On the other diamond, Hall is also in her first year assisting for the varsity softball team. Hall graduated in 2012, making her very new to having a coaching role.

“Even though Jordan is a young coach age wise, I wanted to give her a lot of responsibility, and she has handled it very well,” coach Sam Hershey said.

Hall’s many responsibilities include pitching to the girls in the batting cages and hitting to them for defensive practice.

On game days, Hall calls the pitches from the dugout, keep stats and coaches first base. Hall also helps Hershey to maintain the field.

Hershey had the “honor” of coaching Hall in her time playing for the Cougars where he served as assistant coach under longtime head coach Doug Kinsmann.

“A lot of the same character traits she exhibits now as a coach she exhibited as a player. She was a natural leader as a player and most importantly she always had fun playing the game,” Hershey said.

Hall decided to come back and join the coaching staff when Hershey approached her while she was attending NC State.

“To be honest, coaching has always been something I had considered. Since I am majoring in Sport Management, I felt this was an incredible opportunity and starting point to help direct my career in the future,” Hall said.

Hershey had even more praise for Hall and believes she has a bright future in coaching.

“Jordan is mature beyond her years as a person, which translates into her being a natural leader,” Hershey said. “When it comes to softball, she is very knowledgeable and has tremendous passion for the game. For all those reasons, she will make a great head coach the first chance she gets.”

Hall was also full of praise for Hershey, who has helped her transition from player to coach “much easier than expected.”

“He is always telling me to trust myself and stay confident with my ability to coach and work with these girls. I thought that coaching girls who I played with for years would be so difficult, but the confidence Hershey has in me has helped me become much more comfortable,” Hall said.

Hall is enjoying her first year coaching for the program and is excited for what’s next.

Hall said, “I can’t deny that I love coaching because I love the sport, and it helps me fill that void of not playing anymore. Although there is quite a bit that I did not expect to have to deal with, this experience has been amazing so far.”