Return to cold for new coach

Rivier University baseball coach Anthony Perry was asked if he had any advice for newly named Daniel Webster College coach Nate Goulet about preparing a team in the cold, frosty northeast.

“Yes,” Perry said. “He should know there’s a good chance the first time you step on the baseball field is your first game.”

That, it seems, is the reality for college baseball in this part of the country. Goulet grew up and played ball in Nashua but all of his college coaching experience is south of Maryland. It’s a different world.

“Well, I did coach for awhile at Eastern Tennessee, and we had some snow,” he said.

But Goulet knows it’s not the same. The Eagles will make a Florida trip on March 7 to begin the season, but practices right now are confined to the Vagge Gym and local indoor batting cage/workout facilities.

“It’s a huge adjustment, it really is,” Goulet said. “We had our first meeting and our first team practice and I told the guys, ‘Be patient, it’s going to be a little disorganized. It’s going to take a little bit of time to get acclimated to it.

“But a lot of these guys, they’re from the north. I’m going to ask them for a few suggestions. It’s never been about me.”

But it is now, early on, as Goulet this week assumed the reins of a two-time defending New England Collegiate Conference champion, three years removed from being the CAA Coach of the Year at Old Dominion. He knows how to prepare a team, but it’s certainly different under these conditions.

“I think you have to adjust to what’s given to you,” he said. “The one thing we’re missing is that live game situation.”

For the next five weeks, the Eagles will, like a lot of other schools, go two hours a day in the gym. “We have a gym, but it’s still a cramped area,” Goulet said.

Goulet is coaching in his hometown, inheriting the program after a year as J.P.Pyne’s top assistant. He has 18 newcomers joining 14 returnees, “which is really unheard of in college baseball.”