Conversations with College Coaches: Duke University
Baseball Factory is privileged to work with programs from every level of college baseball. We strive to educate and guide our players when it comes to choosing the right school. The more information a player knows about a school, coach and program, the better. Recently, Dan Mooney went one-on-one with Josh Jordan, recruiting coordinator at Duke University. From his mentors, to the type of players he recruits to his approach during fall ball, Coach Jordan gave some insight into the outstanding program he’s helped developed in Durham, NC. Check out our list of College Alumni and see what alumni played last year at Duke and other Division I programs.
1. How long have you been coaching? How long at Duke University?
This is my 11th season coaching at the college level and my first season at Duke.
2. Who are some of your mentors or coaches that you look up to?
My parents were tremendous mentors for me growing up which would take forever to list all the ways. In the coaching profession two people come to mind. The guy I played for, Jim Gantt, and our head coach Chris Pollard. Coach Gantt really taught me how to approach the game of baseball and to compete which as a young player and coach I knew nothing about. I still call him for solutions to this day. Coach Pollard continues to teach me each day how to organize, be diligent in my work, communicate, and most importantly how to treat people the right way. I have been with him now for eight years and so he probably influences me the most. I have always thought good coaches produce more coaches. Both these guys have so many former players coaching at every level and all are experiencing a ton of success.
3. What is the first thing about your school and program that you’d want a recruit to know about?
I really don’t feel like I need to give a commercial for our university and Duke athletics. This is a university that is known worldwide. In my brief tenure here it has become even more evident that Duke is a “brand” and few places have that quality. I do know we recruit athletes who are very motivated both on and off the field. Those same student athletes also tend to be very goal oriented and think a lot about the future. With that being said, in the recruiting process we also make sure each recruit knows that they are going to enjoy being a student athlete at Duke University and competing in the ACC. Coach Pollard does a great job of making sure our players “live in the moment” and enjoy the process of improving each day. Having the opportunity to play in the ACC and receive this caliber of a degree is something few have an opportunity to do. Therefore, we encourage each player and family to enjoy attaining those lofty goals this program and each athlete has. We play loose with a ton of energy and effort.
4. What qualities do you look for in a prospect on the field? Off the field?
Off the field is very important to us. First, academically each recruit must be very strong in the classroom. That is where it starts. The Duke philosophy is also built around character so how a student athlete conducts himself and goes about his business is very important to us. Therefore, we utilize the high school coach a lot in our research because he sees that young man around his high school campus more than anyone. On the field we are looking for the most athletic baseball players we can find. That athleticism also includes pitchers. Mobility and speed is very important to us and fits our philosophy as a whole. We also have a sign on our locker room door the reads; Blue (…Collar) Devil Baseball. We feel like the phrase blue-collar is not a socioeconomic descriptor but rather a state of mind. We, like everyone else, want tough guys physically and mentally in our program.
5. How has video helped your recruiting?
Most definitely, I review every day. I utilize 7:00-8:00 a.m. as my video review time in my daily recruiting routine. It is really valuable for us especially because we do recruit nationally for players.
6. Do you recruit from Junior Colleges?
Yes we can and do. However, the young man must meet our admission requirements upon high school graduation for the potential to be there.
7. Can you break down your fall practice schedule? What will you try to accomplish?
Our fall practice framework is very similar to what most programs do. We try to introduce pitching/defensive/offensive concepts to the new guys and re-introduce the returning guys. We do intra-squad a lot. Baseball is a sport you must play to get better so try to do that as often as time and pitching allows. I would say however the most important thing we do is away from the field and in the weightroom. We spend four out of seven days in there. The benefits of the utilizing the weight room during that stretch pays off come May and championship time.
8. Do you have a strength and conditioning coach?
Yes sir and it’s one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. Dan Perlmutter is his name. I’ve been fortunate to have worked with some really good strength coaches in the past and no disrespect to them, but he is the best I’ve been around in his field.
9. Anything planned for your facilities (upgrades, changes, etc.)?
Yes, the entire Duke University Athletic Department in in the middle of a huge facilities campaign and all that information can be found at our website. The improvements that will help all the student athletes, including baseball, are too long to list in this interview. The most exciting part for me goes back to what we just spoke about; the new weight room!
10. Is there anything you would like to add about your assistant coaches, recruits, parents, or program that we have not asked you about?
The one thing that I really think is valuable about our coaching staff that might go unnoticed in the level of experience as a new coaching staff here at Duke. I believe strongly that these types of interviews are opportunities to promote the program and not an individual so I would like to talk about the other members of our coaching staff. The level of success Coach Pollard has experienced at each coaching stop is well documented. It is also worth noting that both other assistants, Coach See and Coach Hayes, have head coaching experience. Coach See, out pitching coach and a recruiting coach, was the Associate Head Coach at Ohio University prior to his arrival at Duke. I know from first-hand experience that he handled so many facets of a winning program during his tenure at Ohio. Coach Hayes was a successful head coach at Pfeiffer University for eight seasons. Both of these guys provide a ton of energy and professionalism which makes everyone else in our program better. I personally don’t think any recruit could surround himself with a coaching staff and support personnel that would strive to make him better both on and off the field.
If there are any questions that you'd like to see our staff ask in future installments of "Conversations with College Coaches" or any schools that you'd like to see featured, please contact us at email@example.com.