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Michigan State University Head Baseball Coach, Jake Boss Jr., on what he Expects

Jake Boss Jr., the 16th head coach at Michigan State has become one of the most successful coaches in the school’s 131 year history. Boss has racked up a 333-269 (.553) record in 11 seasons. His teams have had five winning seasons. In seven of the last 11 years, he led the Spartans to 30-win seasons. 

Under Coach Boss’s wing, the Spartans:

  • Earned a Big Ten regular-season championship in 2011 and the NCAA Tournament in 2012
  • Thirty-four selections in the Major League Baseball Draft
  • 2019 draft, three players were selected: Mitchell Tyranski (12th round, Los Angeles Dodgers), pitcher Indigo Diaz (27th round, Atlanta Braves), and infielder Marty Bechina (32nd round, Oakland Athletics)
  • 2018 draft, one player was selected: Riley McCauley (14th round, Chicago Cubs), after four Spartans were selected the 2017 draft: Alex Troop (ninth round, Washington), Brandon Hughes (16th round, Chicago Cubs), Nathan Witt (17th round, Los Angeles Dodgers) and Joe Mockbee (29th round, Chicago White Sox)
  • 2016 draft, four juniors were selected: Cam Vieaux (sixth round, Pittsburgh), Jordan Zimmerman (seventh round, Los Angeles Angels), Dakota Mekkes (10th round, Chicago Cubs), and Matt Byars (24th round, Minnesota)
  • 2015 draft, record breaker of eight players selected: Cam Gibson (fifth round, Detroit), Ryan Krill (ninth round, New York Yankees), Anthony Misiewicz (18th round, Seattle), Cam Vieaux (19th round, Detroit), Jeff Kinley (28th round, Miami), Mick VanVossen (28th round, Washington), Blaise Salter (31st round, Detroit) and Mark Weist (37th round, San Francisco)
  • Players have earned All-Big Ten honors 42 times
  • Three All-Big Ten honorees in 2018: Freshmen Mason Erla and Zach Iverson were both named to the All-Freshman Team 
  • MSU  earned the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Team Academic Excellence Award in three-straight seasons from 2017-2019
  • Boss earned his 300th win at Michigan State during the 2018 season

LRT Sports: What is the most important quality you look for in a recruit? 

Coach Ross: Combination of athletic ability, academic success and a quality young man who will make our program proud.

LRT Sports: What is the best way for a recruit to get on your radar?

Coach Ross: Play well. Very few kids “fly under the radar.” Apart from that, send some video and come to camp. You need to be seen by coaches of schools you are interested in.

LRT Sports: When should an athlete contact you, what is the best way?

Coach Ross: Any time, but the NCAA rules prohibit us from replying until their junior year. Email is probably best.

LRT Sports: What are your expectations for incoming players in the classroom, in the weight room, and on the field?

Coach Ross: Work hard in all aspects.

LRT Sports: What are the do’s and don’ts of being recruited? 

Coach Ross: Don’t have your parents send a letter or email on your behalf. Don’t tell me how good you are. Don’t send a “form letter” beginning with, “Dear coach, I would like to attend your school.” Do send some video so I can evaluate. Do send a personalized letter/email specific to my school to show me you have genuine interest.

LRT Sports: What is the best advice you can offer a recruit?

Coach Ross: Play hard all the time and the process will take care of itself.

LRT Sports: What really jumps out to you when reviewing a recruit’s highlight tape? 

Coach Ross: Effort and attitude.

LRT Sports: What are the main do’s and don’ts for a recruit’s highlight tape?

Coach Ross: Don’t make it too long, only need to see a few clips of hitting, throwing, etc. Game footage is good, as is practice footage.

LRT Sports: When do you recommend recruits put together and share their highlight reels?

Coach Ross: Summer before their junior year.

LRT Sports: What advice do you have for recruits who get turned down by their dream schools? What are their options if they don’t gain the recruiting attention they desire?

Coach Ross: Be aggressive with the process and don’t limit yourself to one school. If your “dream school” isn’t interested or doesn’t have room, then pursue others at different levels if you truly want to play. There are a lot of places to play and there is nothing wrong with DII, DIII, NAIA, etc.

LRT Sports: How big a factor is social media when recruiting players? What advice do you have for athletes regarding social media? 

Coach Ross: Very important. We have stopped recruiting some players because of their social media accounts. If your grandmother would approve of your social media presence, then it’s probably acceptable.

To read more about MSU and Coach Ross: https://msuspartans.com/sports/baseball/roster/coaches/jake-boss-jr-/701

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