After 20 years of playing amateur and collegiate baseball, California State University, East Bay baseball alumni Nick Hudson is now gearing up for a new challenge: his first year as head coach for the Junior Varsity baseball program at Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward.
“I know that a few of my teammates are now coaching at either a high school or CSUEB so based on that number I would say that yes, D II players do go on to become coaches,” said Hudson. He also stated he is unsure if it’s a coincidence, but the experience was good enough to make him want to continue to teach the younger generation.
Hudson started the first two years of his collegiate career at University of San Diego before transferring to CSUEB in 2012 for his final two years under Head Coach Bob Ralston.
In 2014, Hudson had a record of 8-2 in 88.2 innings pitched with an earned run average of 3.25. Hudson led the Pioneers in wins and ranked second in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. Hudson was one of the main components in CSUEB’s back-to-back 30 win seasons and the Pioneers recent success.
“My career was great. I enjoyed the teams, coaches, and baseball program I played for while at East Bay. I was very blessed to play collegiate baseball and I’m happy to have had the opportunity to continue a dream I had as a kid,” said Hudson.
On average, only one percent of college athletes make it to the professional level, according to USA Today. The other 99 percent of collegiate athletes have to cope with a significant transition from sports to the real world. The best way for ex-athletes to cope with this transition is to find a new activity to invest in, and for some local Division II athletes, that activity is coaching.
Just one year after his final game in a Pioneer uniform Hudson will take over at the helm of the JV baseball team at Moreau Catholic High School.
“Yes, I did want to coach,” Hudson said. “I definitely wanted to try it out, see how I like it, and see how well I do with it. I have thought about trying to become a head coach at a collegiate program somewhere. If not the collegiate level, I saw myself coaching baseball at the high school level. I really enjoy being on the field and helping the kids get better.”
During practice, Hudson is not a vocal leader but one who leads by example.
Hudson believes that the Moreau Catholic JV squad is an athletic team with great leadership, good defense, and solid pitching that can compete with the competition in the MVAL.
Hudson plans to use certain coaching styles and strategies from the recent programs he played for, like CSUEB. Hudson is going to incorporate some of East Bay’s base running, fielding, and hitting drills, as well as incorporate the team aspect of building camaraderie throughout the team.
Hudson is not heading into this new career alone. Ex-CSUEB Pioneer Tyler Buchanan is taking the role of Hudson’s assistant coach. Buchanan brings a lot of experience to the program and a certain attitude that is needed on the field.
“Its great having him as the other coach on the JV staff. He is a great guy, was a great teammate, so I am sure he will be a great coach,” Hudson said.
Both East Bay alumni are thrilled and passionate about their new transitions into coaching and plan to pass on the knowledge they gained over the years to the younger ballplayers at Moreau Catholic.