Coach Kestranek Q&A
Tony Kestranek is in his fourth year as a member of the Indiana coaching staff and his 13th year coaching college baseball. Kestranek serves as Indiana's recruiting coordinator, hitting coach and works with the catchers. In college, he played two seasons at Rend Lake Community College before transferring to play at Austin Peay in his final two seasons. To learn more about Coach Kestranek off the field, read on...
1. The best thing about coaching baseball at Indiana is:
Indiana University itself. It is a beautiful place and a great academic insititution.
2. Since you started coaching, what has changed the most about the game, your job, etc.?
Recruiting, from the standpoint of kids are verbally committing earlier and earlier before
the November signing date. So, you have to be on top of not just the seniors and juniors to be,
but also the sophomores. Also, the NCAA rules on hours limitations for practicing and competing
have changed they way you have to approach preparing for a season.
3. Is there a team (baseball or another sport) that have you followed and cheered for since you were a little kid?
Cleveland Browns. There is nothing like being in the "Dog Pound."
4. Who were you rooting for in this season's MLB playoffs?
I would have liked to see the Cubs win the series because of the long drought all of those fans are
going through, but really the Indians were not in it, so I just wanted to see some good baseball.
5. What is the most memorable moment of your athletic career as an athlete?
My two years at Austin Peay when each year we broke a school record for wins, played in the
Ohio Valley Conference Championship, and I had some great teammates.
6. What is the most memorable moment of your athletic career as a coach?
Turning the baseball program around at Lincoln Trail JC, seeing us win the school's first
sectional title, and advancing to the final four of the region and eventually playing for the
7. If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?
8. When and how did you come to the realization that you wanted to become a coach?
Eventually when I had to hang up the spikes, I knew I was going to have a business degree and did not want the 9 to 5 job stuck behind a desk. When I was a player, I was a good field leader and sports and coaching are a big part of my family (no one has coached at the college level, just
local community stuff), so I guess it is in my blood. I love the smell of the fresh cut grass when you're getting ready to take batting practice.
9. What is your all-time favorite meal?
10. What do you like to do in your spare time?
When I am not playing ball with my two sons or spending time with my wife, Leigh, golfing and fishing are two things I really enjoy.
11. Who is your all-time favorite athlete?
Pete Rose. I know that he has not been very successful off the field, but on the field, he played the game with great passion. He was not scared to work hard and he was a fierce competitor. He was the player I tried to play like when I was growing up.
12. Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Hilton Head, South Carolina
13. What is your favorite movie?
Bull Durham. It's the greatest baseball movie of all time.
14. Are there television shows that you watch religiously?
ESPN's Baseball Tonight. And now that I have two sons, The Wiggles.
15. What's the best advice you've ever been given and who did it come from?
I have been given a lot of good advice over the years, but the one that sticks with me is: "You will see the same people on the way down as you did on the way up." I was talking with Jim Brownlee, now the head coach at Illinois State, and we were talking about career advancement in college baseball. He was basically saying don't big time people, treat people the way you want to be treated and be a good person.
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