By: Trey Daly
There is nothing like coming home! That’s exactly what happened to Jacksonville University Recruiting Coordinator Ross Steedly yesterday morning, as he was named the new Head Baseball Coach at Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina. Steedly is no stranger to the Queen City as he played college baseball for the Charlotte 49ers and now looks to a new opportunity ahead with the Royals. We caught up with Coach Steedly today! Check out our interview below…
What are you looking forward to the most about getting back into North Carolina?
I’m looking forward to returning home and being around family and friends and seeing so many familiar faces that I know and love. I love the city of Charlotte and can’t wait to get back and watch high school baseball in the best state.
What have you learned through your stops through college baseball (UNCC, Gardner Webb, Jacksonville University)?
I have learned that life and baseball is all about people. You have to love people! You have to build great relationships and surround yourself with quality individuals. Coaching is all about the player and loving and serving your players. Good players make good coaches!
Tell us about the moment you found out you were going to be the next Head Coach at Queens? Where were you? What were you doing?
The moment I found out I was going to be the next Head Coach at Queens was awesome! I was at home and was on the phone with Jerry Edwards (Jacksonville University Pitching Coach) when the Queens AD texted me and asked if I had a moment to talk. I told Jerry, I would call him back then hopped on a call and we talked for a bit, and then she asked me if I would like to become the next Head Coach. I just started laughing and smiling. Truly a moment I will always cherish. Very surreal and just so thankful and humbled.
What’s your message going to be to the 2021 club, when you get a chance to get in front of them?
With all this stuff going we aren’t sure when we will be able to meet in person, but we are doing a team zoom call tomorrow. My message will be very simple…that we are going to build a program that people can rally behind and get excited about and represent the University in a positive way. We will expect to be excellent in all areas on and off the field. We will take great interest in making sure our players are becoming the men and servants we desire for them to be.
What will Queens Baseball look like to spectators in the upcoming years?
Queens baseball will be an aggressive up tempo competitive brand of ball. I want our players to play with fire and push the envelope. I’m not a traditionalist. If we make the first out at 3rd or home so be it. I want our guys to play aggressive with zero passiveness. We will establish a strong pitching staff and we will be a versatile offense that puts pressure on the opposing team. Fire mode for nine innings!
I know you and your staff will hit the road hard once we get baseball back in gear. What type of player are you looking for?
I think we are all looking for the same types of players and there are so many good ones…throw hard, hit it far, run fast, and play defense (HA, HA). We will look for guys that fit the Queens academic standards. Guys that want to be a part of building a winning program. Pitchers that are athletic with ability to throw two pitches for strikes. And guys that are athletic with versatility in the field because it helps us maximize our roster and adds value. Two way guys are also high on the list. And I love lefty hitters (Give me nine lefty hitters that rake)!
What’s the biggest difference with recruiting in Florida in comparison to North Carolina?
Biggest difference in recruiting in Florida compared to NC, is the weather and there’s always a game going on. Literally someone is playing every night basically year-round because of the weather. I don’t think the talent is drastically better, but I would say there are simply more good players in general because the size of the state is much larger which creates a bigger pool. And the weather allows kids to be outside so much which naturally will help their development process.
One of our favorites here with Impact Baseball is Jerry Edwards (Jacksonville University Pitching Coach), how was it working with him?
Jerry Edwards is the man!!! Jerry is a true baseball guy. Knows a ton about the game and has a tremendous track record with developing pitchers. He had our JU staff pitching at an elite level. He builds great relationships with his players and makes them better. He is so fun to be around in the office, on the road recruiting, in the dugout, etc. He is a pure joy to work with. I had known Jerry for several years prior to working together this past year at JU, but he is now someone I consider a great friend and not just a staff member. He is truly someone I admire as a husband, a father, and a coach. I love Jerry and I am very thankful for him and will truly miss working side by side each day and recruiting with him. One of the best you’ll ever meet.