Interview with University of South Carolina Coach Stuart Lake
By: Trey Daly
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If you know anything about the state of South Carolina baseball, this name is no stranger! Currently Coach Stuart Lake is an assistant coach at the University of South Carolina. Check out today’s interview with Coach Lake.
Trey: You have been around the state of South Carolina for quite some time now, what’s one thing most people don’t know about South Carolina baseball around the region?
Coach Lake: I actually was born and raised in South Carolina. I played my high school and college baseball in state as well. I learned from an early age how important baseball is in the life of this state. But, I don’t think people realize how many players from South Carolina have played in MLB that they know like Shoeless Joe Jackson / Larry Doty / Jim Rice / Billy O’Dell / Mookie Wilson / Brett Gardner / Justin Smoak / Matt Weiters And many more I could list.
Trey: Who’s the best High School player you have seen in South Carolina since coaching down there?
Coach Lake: Man this is a hard one and could get me in trouble. Haha. But for me it’s Drew Meyer who played for us here at South Carolina. At the time he played for us he just changed our program!
Trey: The Gamecocks are having a successful 2021 season, what’s the secret to success?
Coach Lake: This is an incredibly talented and tough season in the SEC. In my 12 years in SEC this is the most talented I have ever seen. But I feel our “secret” so far has been a resilience and ability to “show up” every day!
Trey: What’s one area of the game you think most high school players need to improve on coming into college?
Coach Lake: I think most freshman need to realize the weight room is what separates good from great. And the weight room creates a mental toughness as well that will help u overcome the “lack of immediate success” you are gonna face as a freshman at high levels.
Trey: When you’re out watching future Gamecock players, what’s one thing you are looking for?
Coach Lake: I love to see talented players who are great teammates. I tell my own son all the time I can tell a lot in the way a player walks up and warms up. You must walk up to your game as a baseball player and respectful to the game. Then your warmup shows your level of preparation and focus. Then want to see a guy who wants to win!!!
Trey: Describe the atmosphere of playing in the Southeastern Conference?
Coach Lake: I have been lucky to stand in a coaches box or dugout for 12 plus seasons in the SEC. And think my wife actually deceived best one year while we were at Ole Miss. She simply said “It is so fun to watch the level of players in this league make plays and get hits in such extreme pressure!”
Trey: Looking back on 2020 during the Covid year, what’s one thing you learned going through that time?
Coach Lake: To me it just proved what I have learned from my family and coaches growing up. Never take anything for granted and always tell the ones who help you “thank you” and “I love you”. You just never know when you may not get a chance to do that if you don’t when you can.
Trey: If you had one day off from baseball, what would you do?
Coach Lake: It would be something with my wife and son. We love to fish and the beach so getting back to Charleston a lot. But hopefully don’t have those days “off” for a while. We want to be playing until Omaha.