AU graduates coach Indiana Bulls travel baseball team

Wed, 2014-04-09 07:42 -- univcomm
April 9, 2014

Michael Tucker and Zach Foley, former Raven baseball players and recent Anderson University graduates, share their love of the game by coaching the 12 and under Indiana Bulls baseball team. The Bulls team is the second travel baseball team the duo has coached together.

Tucker graduated from AU in December 2012 and majored in management with a minor in entrepreneurship. He played baseball all four years he attended AU and was named All-American his senior year. Foley, a 2013 physical education major, also played baseball at AU, but left the team his senior year to fulfill student teaching requirements.

Tucker and Foley’s partnership started before they took on the Bulls. The men had a considerable amount of experience working with one another after coaching together for a travel league, the Indiana Storm, during the 2013 baseball season. They also knew each other well from competing against one another in high school baseball games.

Tucker played baseball for the Indiana Bulls his senior year of high school and won the national championship with his team. “The Indiana Bulls organization is ranked in the top of the Midwest for travel baseball teams,” said Tucker. For this reason, Tucker and Foley did not hesitate to coach for the organization when asked. “The offer came up and we could not pass up on it,” said Foley. “It is a great organization.”

Tucker and Foley’s team prepared for their upcoming season with 2-3 hour practices once a week. The two coaches have each found their niche with the team. Foley specializes in coaching pitching, while Tucker focuses more on instructing the hitters and fielders.

Kelli Schmith, the parent of an Indiana Bulls player, is pleased with Tucker and Foley’s work. She called Tucker and Foley “a dynamic coaching duo” because they are able to communicate with each player as an individual, recognizing that each player is different.

“I appreciate how these two work together and complement one another,” said Schmith. “Zach bonds very well with the players, but is quieter during games. And, Michael has a big presence on the field and gives feedback to the players in the moment.”

Like Schmith, Tucker and Foley know that together they provide a valuable combination of skills and coaching qualities to help the players learn. “We have a good mix going,” said Foley. “We have been friends for a long time, so we have always got along. It has been great working with Tucker, and it has been an easy transition to coach with him.”

Both coaches say they learned their techniques from a lifetime of playing sports but specifically from their time playing baseball at AU. “At AU I played for Coach John Brandon, who won 1,100 games in his career, and it was great to learn from him,” said Tucker. “I see bits of AU all the time in what we are doing. I learned so much about how to treat people.”

Schmith notices that Tucker and Foley are great ambassadors for AU. “They talk positively about the school they came from,” said Schmith. “Michael and Zach are brilliant at helping to recruit future AU baseball players.”

— Anna Rayis is a senior from Columbus, Ohio, majoring in communication arts. Rayis is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.

Anderson University is a private Christian university in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.), Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.