Coach Calcaterra Q&A
A former Indiana baseball team captain, Jeff Calcaterra is entering his eighth year as full-time assistant coach at Indiana and his 11th year overall on the staff at his alma mater. A four-year letterwinner at IU under Bob Morgan from 1989-1992 as a catcher, he is known to most people simply as "Cal." To get to know more about Cal off the field, read on...
1. The best thing about coaching baseball at Indiana is:
The campus is the best I've seen. It's the warmer than the other Big Ten schools and the relationships
I have developed with the players and the staff here at IU. Plus, Indiana is my alma mater.
2. Since you started coaching, what has changed the most about the game, your job, etc.?
I think the ability to just play the game and having natural instincts for the game. Players in the
past 10 years are camp and showcase geared. They work a lot on skills, but sometimes need to learn
3. Is there a team (baseball or another sport) that have you followed and cheered for since you were a little kid?
Detorit Tigers, I hate to say with their recent struggles. But I grew up a Tiger fan.
4. Who were you rooting for in this season's MLB playoffs?
The Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox. I want to see them in the World Series, as least for
5. What is the most memorable moment of your athletic career as an athlete?
1992. We were down 7-2 to Michigan. Mike Smith hit a three-run shot to make it 7-5 in the fifth inning.
He came in and said, "Get me up one more time." Michigan added a run in the 6th to make it 8-5. With
two outs in the 7th, Rich Vozel walked on a 3-2 pitch to put two guys on and brought up Mike. He swung
at two sliders from Todd Marion, the best reliever in the league. Mike hit the third pitch out of the park.
Game is now tied 8-8, when I came up in the 8th. I led off with a single and scored on a double by Jeff
Ramey to win. We took three of four from Michigan, my home state rival.
6. What is the most memorable moment of your athletic career as a coach?
I think there have been quite a few. Picking one, I would have to say winning the Big Ten Tournament
in 1996 and advancing to the NCAA Tournament to play Witchita State and Rice.
7. If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?
Randy Johnson. I would like to feel the intimidation and power of throwing 100 mph. That would
8. When and how did you come to the realization that you wanted to become a coach?
I had always looked at myself as a player. When I was in college, I was a catcher, a coaching-type
position. After pro ball was over, I had an opportunity to coach here at IU. It came naturally to me and
I really enjoyed it. I could never see myself in an office 9-5 setting. The competition is what drives
9. What is your all-time favorite meal?
All of them (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). I like most food except for anchovies.
10. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have some hobbies. I like to build and refinish furniture, play my guitar loud and heavy, and I
love to play golf. They all relax me.
11. Who is your all-time favorite athlete?
I grew up watching Lance Parrish, Alan Tramell, and Chet Lemon, as well at the whole `80s Tigers.
12. Where is your favorite vacation spot?
I don't know. I've never really taken a vacation with my wife or family, but I would love to
13. What is your favorite movie?
I have a lot of favorites, but I would have to say "The Natural."
14. Are there television shows that you watch religiously?
The Sopranos. I've been waiting for two years for the final season. I think it's coming out
15. What's the best advice you've ever been given and who did it come from?
My high school football coach, Al Fracasa, said in our locker room one time "If it's to be,
it is up to me." I have lived by this motto in my life. I came from a small area of Detroit,
with no father. and worked to earn where I am today as a player and a coach.
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