Q & A With Barron Collier Head Coach Charlie Maurer

PBR Florida recently interviewed Barron Collier Head Baseball Coach Charlie Maurer to discuss his program.

PBR: Your program is one of the most successful and respected programs in the area. What do you believe are some of the contributing factors to that success? Maurer

Maurer: I feel like there are a few main things that make this program consistent. First thing is consistency within the staff and program. What I mean by that is there have only been four head coaches for the baseball program since the school opened over 40 years ago. The second thing that I think is a major reason is the hotbed of talent in SWFL that we get a piece of every year. The third thing and most important thing in my opinion is the coaching we have had over the years. As many people know, you can have talent but that doesn’t always equate to getting guys ready for the next level. I feel like year in and year out we have a phenomenal mix of coaches that have played at the highest levels and always bring a cutting edge to our game. Whether its practice plans, or in game strategy, or strength and conditioning, we always try to stay on the cutting edge of things and with the wealth of knowledge the coaches on staff bring it is truly a great mix. Most of the coaches have played in the program so they bleed blue and grey so the commitment level is off the charts. When you combine those two things it’s truly a great mix. 

PBR: Please talk about the high level of expectations that surrounds your program.

Maurer: Unfortunately and fortunately this is a simple answer. With the talent and resources we continue to develop for our school and program no matter whether you’re on an up year or down year your expected to play the toughest schedule in the state of Florida and compete for titles every year. Obviously winning is super important to us, but as I’ve said before and as the program has always shown in the many years of its existence we try to develop our talent for the next level. The numbers don’t lie; we have been very successful at doing so…

PBR: Is there anything you do special to keep your guys loose, motivated, etc.

Maurer:  Well as I somewhat touched on before I think the biggest thing that I have learned as a player and a coach is that you have to give respect to get respect. I think the guys will run through a wall for us for a couple of reasons. I think because of how young the staff is and how recent we are from being done playing they can really relate to us, especially their position coaches. I also thing we create a loose environment buy not making practice and game plans monotonous. We try to put them in the best gear, make practices fun, give them everything I possibly can because in turn they will give me 7 innings as hard as possible night in and out. As far as motivation goes, the guys know what’s on the line every year and what’s expected of them. It’s preached in how we act and run things, not verbally. All of the coaches on the staff are the same age and have played together since we were 5 years old in little league all the way up. I think the kids see the dynamic we grew up with and the success we had and the fun we have doing what we do and they feed off of it. WE truly try to run this program just like a college program. 

PBR: Your program has had a great number of committed players. Please discuss how you help your players with the recruitment process.

Maurer: As I touched on earlier I think the main reason is the coaching we have had. With all the position coaches playing at the highest level not long ago I think it narrows the gap of what we know it takes to get them ready for the next level. I think a combination of that and the connections we have created over the years makes it a great situation. WE have a good rep of placing guys in the right situation based on what we think their ability is or is going to be and when guys have success you build that trust level up with the college and pro guys. 

PBR: Please tell us some influential people and/or coaches that have had a significant impact on your coaching style and how?

Maurer: Now this is a tough question. I could write a novel about the people that have helped me along the way or influenced my coaching style. I think it’d be fair to talk about just a few. First and probably the most important as far as a person and who I modeled my coaching style is my older brother Dan. As a somewhat young buck, (25) I still have a lot of learning left to do, and I have no ego when it comes to that. I truly feel no matter how old you are or how long you’ve been in this game you can never stop learning. There is always someone that knows more than you about something. I always try to pick up an edge. As far as my brother goes it’s an interesting dynamic. He was a way better player than me and went on to a great career. I had a great perspective as I got to grow up watching him play. When he got done with that I got to be coached by him growing up as well as Barron collier. Then once it was my turn to hang them up I got to coach with him. I think that is something that is truly rare. I couldn’t even list the things he’s taught me about the game or as a person. The main things I abide by are don’t treat your players like they are a piece of meat. Remember how you wanted to be treated when you played. The game has got to be fun or you will lose your team. 

The other person that really taught me the x’s and o’s of the game if you will is my father. Growing up not only did he coach me but when most kids went fishing or hunting with their dad all we did was baseball. That’s the only thing we liked. Baseball was life to us. He created my love for baseball and my style of how I like to game plan and coach during a game. He always taught me the “small ball” game of baseball. I grew up playing it and its what I know best so that’s why I coach the way I do. He always taught me to make the other team make a play and play like your hair is on fire. That blue-collar style is what makes the teams I coach so aggressive I feel like. Honestly, not because I think its right, but because its the only way I know.

Lastly, I truly feel like I’m the luckiest coach ever because a lot of my style is I don’t micro manage my guys. I truly believe in giving my coaches their roles and not looking over their backs. As I mentioned earlier, I coach with my best friends so I know they know their stuff. If everyone does their job it just works like a wise man once told me “poetry in motion.”

I whole-heartedly believe that a head coach is only as good as his staff. I also believe you want to hire guys that are better than you. IF you do that you will be successful. If you hire guys that are yes guys as I call them and agree with everything you say and don’t know as much as you, then they don’t challenge you and don’t think outside the box with you. You have to create that environment in my opinion to take a program like this to the highest level. 

PBR: Is there an opponent or a certain place you look forward to playing?

Maurer: Every year we try to make the toughest schedule possible to get our guys ready for the postseason. With that being said there are obviously the in town rivalries like Gulf Coast and Naples. Both of which are great programs year in and year out and no matter how good you are, if you take them lightly you will get beat. In a rivalry game there is no such thing of who has an up team or down team talent wise that year. You better be on your toes. Our out of town teams are obviously really tough as well. Every year we schedule the likes of St. Thomas Aquinas, American Heritage, Bishop Verot, IMG Academy, etc.…

I want to test our guys throughout the year so when they get to the playoff rounds they are battle ready. 

PBR: Who are some up and coming players in your program that we will be getting to know soon?

Maurer: This is another tough question because I love all of my guys. As far as name brand guys that have not committed yet I’d keep an eye on our starting SS 2016 grad Billy Zeliff as well as our 2016 2B Jonathan Newman.

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