Mingus Union baseball’s new varsity head coach is a familiar face.
Tim McKeever Jr. was selected as Mingus’ head baseball coach. An assistant coach in 2017, he succeeds Bob Young who retired after last season after coaching baseball at Mingus Union for 27 years.
“It’s good, it’s good, I’m excited about it,” McKeever said. “It’s just great to be a part of the program. It’s been a great experience to be a part of the program and we want to just keep going with the legacy that coach Young built here and that’s why we’re sticking around, that’s what we’re gonna try and do.”
Unlike some coaching positions at Mingus Union, there was a lot of competition for the head baseball job.
“He’s been in the program for several years now and he’s gonna be taking over the head job,” said Mingus athletic director Yancey
DeVore. “We had some good candidates and he was chosen by the committee.”
There were two sets of interviews.
“He’s familiar with the success of the program and the history of the program and stuff like that, so I think he has a lot to bring for the kids and he knows a lot of the kids,” DeVore said. “He’s got a good rapport with a lot of the kids and he understands some of the dynamics that are going on there, as far as team continuity and stuff like that, coaches and staffing and stuff like that.”
In addition to coaching baseball, McKeever is an assistant football coach and was the head wrestling coach.
“It’s just nice that he’s a well-rounded coach, that he understands the dynamics of kids playing multiple sports and stuff like that,” DeVore said. “So that will be a positive for like kids wanting to go from basketball to baseball, he’ll understand the transition from one sport to another, so that’s a plus.”
Young won 11 Region Championships and seven Region Coach of the Year Awards.
McKeever said coaching other sports helps him as has learning under Young, who also coaches football.
“I’ve been a head coach here before, but coaching football, coaching baseball and just being around coach Young, his organizational skills and those kind of things is what’s kinda prepped us and got us ready,” McKeever said. “I don’t know if I would have been a head coach if it wasn’t for him. The things that I’ve learned and the things that he’s taught me and the things that he does to get everybody prepared, coaches and players, he ran a pretty tight ship and that’s what we want to continue to try and do.”
McKeever said he isn’t going to change much, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” The Marauders won state championships in 2008 and 2009.
In 2017, Young went out a winner, taking the Grand Canyon Region title.
“You couldn’t ask for a better mentor, the guy’s a baseball legend and that’s what we want to try and do, is keep the program that he built and make him proud and that’s part of the reason we hang around,” McKeever said. “We all love baseball and love the kids but we love the program and so that’s what we’re dedicated to, is the program and try it to make it where we can turn out some great baseball players. That’s what we’ve done in the past and that’s what we want to continue to do.”
McKeever expects the Marauders to do well in 2018.
“He left us in pretty good shape (laughs),” McKeever said. “It’s hard to replace a legend, you want to be the guy further down the road, but the cupboards are pretty full with some pretty unbelievable talent We’re anticipating to have a great year.”