Pastime reunion: Tschumperlin returns to Park baseball program
There's a familiar face back throwing batting practice to Park baseball players this season.
Former head coach Reid Tschumperlin rejoined the Wolfpack this season as an assistant coach under first-year head coach John McGowan. On Friday Tschumperlin threw to hitters in the cage and even took a line drive off his arm, but even that didn't seem to bother him after a two-year coaching absence.
"In a weird way it's kind of part of baseball," Tschumperlin said. "You know it's going to happen and in a weird way you kind of do miss those things."
Tschumperlin spent 23 years with the Park baseball program, the last nine of which he served as head coach, but in 2010 resigned in order to spend more time watching his son play his senior season at Stillwater Area High School. When Tschumperlin resigned he was only one of three coaches in the history of the Wolfpack baseball program.
When McGowan took over as head coach this season it didn't take him long to reach out to Tschumperlin, who coached McGowan at Park. McGowan also later served as an assistant coach under Tschumperlin.
"Having Reid back on the staff is awesome," McGowan said. "He's a go-to-guy if I have questions on how things went in the past or if this will work. It's definitely a great source to have."
The two have spent plenty of time this season and in the past discussing coaching techniques and attending coaching clinics together. McGowan has learned from Tschumperlin through his years as an assistant coach and now Tschumperlin is learning from McGowan.
"We see a lot of the same things," Tschumperlin said. "I like to think he learned something from me and now we're doing things a little differently and I'm learning some things from him. I just think that's really cool."
Tschumperlin said McGowan has always been a student of the game and has sought out more knowledge by following college programs.
"He wants to go to every clinic and listening to every college philosophy then taking all those things and trying to build his own," Tschumperlin said. "I always said this about John from the day he became my assistant, he's a great teacher of skills."
The coaching bug never went away for Tschumperlin as he watched his son, Tyler, finish out his high school career. He found himself watching the game like a coach as before and the competiveness never left.
"One of the biggest things I missed was the competition of the games," Tschumperlin said. "Being with the kids and even being part of a team and even being part of Park baseball."
Tschumperlin has familiarity with players from this year's squad through years of coaching their siblings or even their parents. Tschumperlin, who works at Crestview Elementary, has taught some of the players in the past and there is a ninth-grader on the team whose father played under Tschumperlin.
"That's a big part of what I miss is the connections you make," Tschumperlin said.