College Podcast: Mercer Coach Craig Gibson Talks Kyle Lewis, Success
On this episode of the Baseball America College Podcast, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy are joined by Mercer coach Craig Gibson to discuss Kyle Lewis' time at Mercer, how he recruited Lewis, the continued success of the program and what's in store for the 2021 season.
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Lewis at Mercer is the quintessential mid-major baseball success story. A relatively lightly-recruited player out of high school, Lewis first attracted Gibson's interest when the coach saw his outstanding athleticism on the basketball court. The coach gave Lewis a shot, Lewis chose baseball over basketball, and the rest is history. Lewis became the best player in Mercer baseball history and is now one of the most exciting players in Major League Baseball.
The Lewis example is obviously the most notable one, but Gibson has made a career out of winning games at Mercer by recruiting and developing overlooked talent and turning them into productive college baseball players. The proof is certainly in the pudding there, as Gibson's Mercer teams (minus 2020) have won 35 or more games overall in 10 consecutive seasons and have collected a number of regular-season conference championships along the way.
Among the topics discussed on this episode are:
- Gibson's fishing hobby, which he turned to after the season was canceled in the spring
- What it's been like to watch Kyle Lewis succeed in the big leagues
- How he recruited Lewis to Mercer
- How Mercer has come to be such a consistent winner
- What was going right during the Bears' hot start to 2020
- What allowed Jackson Kelley to pitch at such as a high level as a freshman
- What he's most excited about ahead of the 2021 season