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New Gulf Coast baseball coach still working with Mississippi State in Omaha, anxious to get to Panama City

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 9:31 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Tyler Younger, the new head baseball coach at Gulf Coast, continues to juggle two roles while in Omaha.

After accepting the job as the new head coach at Gulf Coast, replacing coach Kandler, Younger remained committed to staying in the job he held, which is Coordinator of Player Development for the Mississippi State baseball program. The Bulldogs made it to the final series, and Monday night, lost game one to Vandy. So Tuesday they were in a must-win situation to keep the best of three series going. Tuesday morning I spoke with coach Younger via Zoom about this experience he’s getting with the Bulldogs in Omaha!

“This is actually my second time, because we went in 2019 also.” Coach Younger told me. “So this time around you kind of knew what to expect going in. But you grow up your whole life as a kid, you watch this thing on TV, like I...you’d love to be a part of it as a player, coach, or just somebody in the dugout. So being able to live this dream twice is pretty sweet.”

For coach Younger, the extended postseason run by Mississippi State is keeping from getting to Gulf Coast and begin putting together his new team. And that’s made things a bit stressful while in Omaha.

“It’s a good stress, juggling two jobs can be a little stressful.” the coach said. “But like I said it’s a good stress. And between that and being out here, you know this tournament is spread way, way out. It’s spread out to a week and a half. It probably could be played in a week. So this thing is spread out, you feel like it’s just one big ball of anxiety out here. And then on game day, we’ve played all night games, so you’re sitting around anxious all day long. Luckily with the Gulf Coast stuff, I’ve been busy on the phone most days. Kind of keep your mind off of it until it’s game time. So it’s not that big of a deal. But now I’m definitely ready to get down and get started.”

There is an upside to being with a team in Omaha, and it being a second trip to the CWS. The experience of it all, the kind of experience a new head coach can use moving forward!

“To make it to this point of the year is obviously the end goal for everybody when you start playing.” the coach told me. “But it just goes to show that from the first day in the fall to now, our job as coaches, and as players, is to help them get a little bit better every day. And if you can do that, that compounds and it really shows this time of the year. But there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes, way, way before this time of the year. And this is the reason you make it to this point in the year and have this opportunity.

Coach Younger says he’s fortunate coach Mike Kandler, the outgoing head coach, remains as A.D. at Gulf Coast. He says coach Kandler has helped pick up some slack in terms of running things while he remains with the Bulldogs. Coach Younger says 16 players are returning, and they’ve signed one recruit, leaving them with 6 spots still to fill. And that process will begin in earnest later this week, or over the weekend, once the series is over.

“I’ll probably take a day or two to pack up my stuff.” the coach says. “I’ll come down by myself first. Our house is actually under contract in Starkville, so we close on that about the third week of July. So the wife, and we have an eight-month-old, my wife is going to stay back and work for a couple of more weeks in Starkville. And then they’ll come down after that. We’re still in the process of trying to find a house in Panama City or Panama City Beach. So it’s hectic times right now. But there’s a tournament that we need to be at in Atlanta next week, a 17 and under tournament so we’ll hit the ground running as soon as I get back.”

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