Mark Michaud: Assistant Baseball Coach
Sherwood Center, Whitman College
Walla Walla, Wash. 99362
Office Phone: 509 522-4438
Office Fax: 509 527-5960
News release date: Aug. 1, 2009
Michaud Named Whitman Baseball Pitching Coach
WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Mark Michaud, Jr., has been named pitching coach for the Whitman College baseball program, head coach Jared Holowaty announced today.
“Whitman and its baseball program are extremely fortunate to have Mark join our family,” Holowaty said. “Mark is an outstanding teacher of the game. His philosophies have taken shape through working with coaches from all over the country.
“There is no better feeling than knowing that a coach will make players as good as they are capable of being, and that’s what Coach Michaud brings to the table.”
Whitman, an NCAA Division III school and member of the Northwest Conference, capped a national search last month when it picked Holowaty to fill its head coaching vacancy. That search attracted about 160 applicants.
Michaud, 30, fills a new assistant position funded by contributions from the W Club, the athletics booster club at Whitman. He strengthens a baseball staff that includes assistant coach Sean Kinney, who joined the staff in the fall of 2006 after an All-Northwest Conference playing career at Whitman.
Michaud comes to Whitman from his alma mater, Eastern Connecticut State University (NCAA DIII), where he spent the past year as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator.
Michaud, who earned his undergraduate degree at Eastern Connecticut in 2002, has also coached at two NCAA DI schools, the University of Maine and Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., and two other DIII schools, Rockford College in Illinois, and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
This summer, Michaud was head coach of the Connecticut Blue Jays, a 16-and-under AAU team based in Hartford.
“Coach Michaud’s work ethic and drive make him great to work with and I’m happy we will have that opportunity here at Whitman,” Holowaty said. “In addition to his duties as pitching coach, he will also help with recruiting and summer camps.”
Holowaty and Michaud first met as college roommates. While Holowaty played four baseball seasons for his father, Bill Holowaty, at Eastern Connecticut, Michaud racked up five years as a student assistant coach under the elder Holowaty, an NCAA Div. III coaching legend in the New England area.
“The Holowatys are family to me,” Michaud said. “I could be one of the luckiest people in the baseball world. I knew that I wanted to be a great coach so I latched on to the best (Bill Holowaty) and that was the begining of a great relationship as a member of the Eastern Connecticut baseball Family."
While Michaud has tinkered with a wide variety of ideas in building his own coaching philosophy, he credits Bill Holowaty as his primary pitching coach mentor. “Coach Holowaty is one of the best pitching coaches in the country,” Michaud said. “He provided me with the fundamentals and mechanics that it takes to teach pitchers and help them improve. He also challenged me throughout the years to keep learning and improving. I’ve listened to numerous speakers, and believe it or not, I still learn a lot from players. If one pitcher enjoys spectacular success in specific area, it’s a good idea to find the key to that success and then help others duplicate it.”
To be successful, according to Michaud’s basic pitching philosophy, pitchers must attack hitters, limit the opposition’s running game and field their position. “No one will work harder than us at fielding our position, and pitching aggressively.”
Another general rule of thumb, Michaud said, is that pitchers who throw three different pitches for strikes can dominate a game. Following the same line of thought, he said, pitchers who throw two pitches for strikes “give us a chance to win the game. That will be a great start in terms of competing in the Northwest Conference."
As the pitching coach last spring at Eastern Connecticut, Michaud guided a mound staff that posted a team earned run average of 3.24, which topped the Little East Conference by a wide margin. His pitching staff also led the conference in strike-out/walk ratio (3 to 1) and walks/hits per innings pitch (1.2). The group tripled its number of pick-offs from the year before.
Four of his pitchers earned all-conference honors, and one was named Co-National Player of the Year for NCAA Division III.
His staff led all of NCAA Division in total strike-outs with 447, which compared to just 159 walks in 411 innings. His hurlers also topped all of Division III in strike-out/walk ratio, and was second in strike-outs per nine innings (9.8) and seventh in earned run average.
Michaud was an assistant coach at Maine for the 2007-08 academic year, where he also helped with recruiting and was camp director. Prior to that, he was pitching-catching coach and recruiting/camp coordinator at Siena for two seasons.
In his one season as the pitching coach at Maine, his staff topped the conference in strike-outs per nine innings (10.1) and strike-outs/walks ratio (2 to 1). His pitchers were second in walks/hits per innings pitched (1.6) and fourth in team earned run average.
Michaud was at Rockford from 2003 through 2005, completing his master’s degree in teaching while working as assistant director of enrollment management and holding a coaching/recruiting position with the baseball team. He was the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Wisconsin-Platteville in 2002-03, when he recruited players that led the team to its first-ever conference tournament appearance.
As a student-assistant at Eastern Connecticut, Michaud was part of a program that made four Division III World Series appearances in five years and won national titles in 1998 and 2002. As a senior, he was the head sub-varsity coach.
Michaud also served as the infield/hitting coach in 2001 and 2002 for two teams in the New England Collegiate Summer Baseball League.
Michaud, who plans to move to Walla Walla by mid-August, said he looks forward to helping Holowaty build a nationally competitive baseball program at Whitman.
Coaches can lead by example, he said, by maintaining confidence and focus while having fun and continuing the learning process. “You have to get to know your players,” he added. “They need to know that you are there for their growth and development.”