Q&A: Golf head coach, Don Baszler

Ariy-El Boynton

Ariy-El Boynton

The golf programs have been surprise teams this year. With that success, The Collegian questioned SDSU’s head golf coach Jared Baszler on the inner workings of the program and his life.

Ariy-El Boynton: Talk about what the last few months have been like for you (now being a full-time coach and having a wife-to-be).

Jared Baszler: The last few months have been very rewarding and appreciative. Rewarding in that the hard work to enhance our program to where it is today is showing signs of success. Appreciative in that I’m feeling fortunate that my fiancĂ©e has been super supportive of my career despite the long hours it sometimes requires. I’m also appreciative SDSU has given me the opportunity to devote all of my professional time to the SDSU golf programs.

AB: Talk about the change of both teams in your six years of coaching.

JB: Both teams have improved immensely in so many aspects the last six years. Academically, athletically, maturity and commitment are just a few of the most noticeable components. It has been a very rewarding experience for me as a coach, and I hope my current and former student athletes feel the same way.

AB: Did you know that men’s and women’s golf would be so good?

JB: I did, but I’m a bit surprised it has happened this fast.

AB: Does it make your job easier having three seniors on the men’s team?

JB: From a leadership standpoint, it is much easier. I have been able to go to them for some sound advice throughout this year, and they have been instrumental in giving me ideas on how to improve our golf program.

AB: What sort of things have fans commented on?

JB: A lot of congratulatory remarks, and people are very excited about the state of our program.

AB: In the back of your mind, did you know that this success was going to happen to the men’s team?

JB: I had a good feeling about this year’s men’s, but we aren’t even to the halfway point yet. We need to be ready to play for every tournament. We can’t afford to play poorly in any of our future tournaments.

AB: How has the recruiting process changed for you in the last few years?

JB: Recruiting has changed immensely. We are now garnering interest from some of the best players in region, and Jackrabbit golf is becoming an appealing option for recruits. We as coaches have also done a better job contacting recruits much earlier than we have in the past to assure we aren’t missing any opportunities.

AB: It’s neat to bring your kids to the best courses in the nation, right?

JB: It is, and just one of the many perks of being part of our Jackrabbit golf programs.

AB: Any hopes of having a home tourney in the future?

JB: I’m hoping for a home tournament during spring break 2010. We will host the tournament, but it won’t be in this area.

AB: Talk about the challenges of coaching in the winter with all the snow. Also, what are some plans to improve the situation?

JB: It is a challenge, but we work hard to make the most of it. We work out with Nate Moe (strength and conditioning head coach) and his staff, which is very beneficial. We hope to improve our indoor facilities in the future, but that is a matter of time and fundraising efforts.

AB: Talk about your playing career.

JB: It isn’t anything compared to most all the guys on my men’s team. I would have a very hard time making the top-five on my own golf team. Thankfully for my sake, good coaches in sports don’t necessarily have to be good players.

AB: When did you know that you wanted to be a coach?

JB: I always had it in the back of my mind ever since high school when I was a basketball player for Marv McCune at De Smet High School. Coach McCune is a legendary high school basketball coach, and I learned a lot about sports, life (and) passion from him. I’ve also been blessed to have had many other great coaches and people around me growing up.

AB: In five years, what do you see yourself doing?

JB: Coaching the Jackrabbit golf teams and taking them to heights never before achieved.