Image credit: (Photo by William Howard/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
On this episode of the Baseball America College Podcast, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy are joined by UNC Wilmington coach Randy Hood to discuss his team’s preparation for the 2021 season, excitement about having so many key players back on the roster, the 2021 schedule and playing with Michael Jordan on the Birmingham Barons.
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The Seahawks are annually one of the best mid-major programs in the country, and based on what we saw in 2020, last year was going to be no different. They were off to an 11-5 start in Hood’s first season as head coach, and that included a series sweep of Kentucky.
After the season, veteran lefthander Zarion Sharpe signed as a free agent with the Twins, and that gives UNCW one key piece to replace in the rotation, but otherwise, everyone is back, including rotation stalwarts in righthanders Landen Roupp and Luke Gesell and productive offense players like third baseman Cole Weiss and outfielder Noah Bridges.
Among the topics discussed on this episode are:
- Hood’s initial thoughts on his 2021 team
- Replacing Zarion Sharpe in the rotation
- What makes Cole Weiss such an effective offensive player
- The next step in the development of Noah Bridges
- What Hood learned last year in his first year as head coach
- The benefits and challenges of becoming head coach after serving as an assistant at UNCW for nearly two decades
- What it will take for UNCW to get over the hump and win a regional
- The work that went into putting the 2021 schedule together
- His experience as a teammate of Michael Jordan on the Birmingham Barons