Thanks to Michigan’s upset win over UCLA, Vanderbilt is now the odds-on favorite to win the College World Series. With the top-seeded Bruins out of the picture, No. 2-seed Vanderbilt is now the highest seed left standing, which is a familiar position for Tim Corbin.
Vandy’s head baseball coach has turned what was largely a nothing program — the Commodores had all of three NCAA Tournament appearances before Corbin’s 2003 arrival — into a bona fide powerhouse.
Including the Commodores’ 2019 trip, Vanderbilt has been to Omaha four times in the past nine years, including a 2014 national title, a 2015 runner-up finish, with their 2019 ending still unwritten.
With Vandy’s run to the 2019 CWS ongoing over the weekend — the ‘Dores lost Game 1 to Duke 17-5, then rallied with wins of 3-0 and 13-2 to win the Super Regional — this 2015 interview resurfaced, and we thought it appropriate to share it here, because it’s great.
In it, Corbin shares the five traits he looks for in a baseball player, all of which have little-to-zero to do with hitting, throwing or fielding a baseball.
- A clean locker. “It carries over to other areas,” he says. “Taking care to follow up with tutors, following up with your coaches—that to me is a huge predictor of success, both on the field and in life. You have to be organized.”
- Thank-you notes.
- High fives.
- Thick skin. “But if you want to be coached at this level, you have to understand the difference between a personal attack versus constructive criticism,” Corbin says. “This might be the first time players need to have that teachable spirit—the first time they get criticized.”
- A sense of humor.