ANDRE BUTLER PENN STATE - ASSISTANT COACH
I'm Not Just a Coach. As I am in the midst of my 6th year coaching college baseball, I realize that the longer baseball is a part of my life, the more I realize how much it impacts my overall outlook on life. My role as assistant coach at Penn State goes well beyond just waving runners home from 3rd base and coaching outfielders.
The relationships formed with my players over the years are lifelong. When a player decides they will be attending Penn State to play baseball, there is more to it than just having a goal of winning a BIG Ten Championship and going to the College World Series. Even though it is not in my job description, my goal is to teach our young guys how to be men. Once our players become freshman in college they will spend more time with their teammates and coaches than anyone else in their life. Having the opportunity to lead 18-22 year olds has made a huge impact on my life and I am a better person because of it. I am there for our players during the bad times and the greatest accomplishments of their college careers.
Being an African American role model in a sport that is predominately white is something that I am aware of and I embrace it each day I work with our players. I realize that today we still live in a world of hate because of religious beliefs or just because we aren’t all the same color. I want to give our players a good sense of what diversity looks like because once college is over they must go out into the world and interact with all different types of people.
Being a role model isn’t just talking about the comfortable topics in life but it is preparing our young men for the realities they will face when they leave us after their 4 years. Needless to say, I am extremely grateful each day to use baseball as a way to connect with our players and prepare them for life after baseball.