Northern Sun Coach Survey – Pat Dolan

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This is my 9th entry in my series of questionnaire responses I received from coaches in the Northern Sun Conference.

Entering his 2nd season as coach of the St. Cloud State Huskies is head coach, Pat Dolan.  Dolan finished his inaugural season with a 27-23-1 record which was the most wins at St. Cloud since 1999 and good for a 3rd place finish in the now defunct North Central Conference.  He came to St. Cloud after spending 7 seasons at Dakota State where he took over a team that had become a perennial loser and built a team that was ranked in the NAIA polls for 5 consecutive seasons.  By 2003 he turned around a 1 win team to a 33 win team that advanced to the NAIA Regional Tournament for the first time ever.  Dolan’s roots are in Central Minnesota as well as he was a 10-time letter winner at Cold Spring – Rocori High School.  Pat Dolan Bio

1. In what area(s) are you looking for your team to make the biggest improvement over 2008?

Our biggest area of weakness last year was giving up big innings.  In the majority of our wins we didn’t give up crooked number innings.  I guess this is standard in baseball, but for us to continue to improve we are going to have to limit these big innings by not giving teams more than three outs to work with.

2. What newcomers to your team look like they will make the biggest impact?

Our coaching staff thought long and hard about redshirting our freshmen position players and decided to go that route to keep them all in the same graduating class.  Freshmen pitcher Logan Birr should be right in the mix of things.  We expect all of our transfers to fill in for the holes we lost last year to graduation.

3. What’s your philosophy regarding recruiting out of high school vs. college transfers?

I think this varies from year to year depending on needs, but ideally we would like to continue to bring in around 75% high school student athletes and the rest transfers.

4. What Northern Sun team do you consider to be your schools biggest rival?

Only being back in Minnesota one year and this being our first year in the NSIC that is a tough question.  With that being said I remember going to the Husky vs. Mankato games as a high school player. Skip Lorsung and Coach Bowyer had some great games.  They obviously have a great program with great coaches.  Without anything even said to our players last year you could just sense a different energy level when we played them, which I think makes for a great rivalry.

5. Who has been the biggest influence on your coaching philosophy and/or career?

There really is too many people that have been such a positive influence on my coaching career to single anyone out.  I’ve been truly blessed to be coached by great coaches in high school and college and coach along with many others at the college level.  Our current staff at SCSU with Coach Pratt, Kampsen, MacLean and Picha really keep my energy level high.  They are all high motor guys that have loyalty towards the program, a great work ethic and caring attitude towards all of our players.

The Northern Sun Baseball Blog would like to thank Pat Dolan for taking time out of his schedule to answer these questions.

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