Patrick Flanagan sees potential in Eaton baseball.
He also sees in the Eagles an opportunity to grow as a coach.
Flanagan was approved Monday night as Eaton’s new varsity baseball coach. He is currently an assistant with the Richmond RiverRats of the Prospect League and was an assistant for Richmond High School this past spring.
“They’ve got a great athletic department on staff, they’ve got good parents and they have a really nice set up over there,” Flanagan, 26, said of the Ohio program. “They could do some pretty good things in the next few years, and beyond that.
“I’m really excited to see what happens, and I’m stepping into a pretty good situation.”
Flanagan pitched for both Rend Lake College and Bradley University, a Division I program in Peoria, Illinois.
The native of Salem, Illinois, also played two seasons for the RiverRats before returning to the woodbat collegiate league franchise as a coach.
Flanagan graduated from Bradley in 2013.
“I had decided pretty early on that I wanted to coach out of college,” Flanagan said. “I talked to my coach at Rend Lake College, and he said he’d be more than happy to give me a job. Then coach (Tyler) Lairson gave me an opportunity to come over here with the RiverRats. I’m grateful to both of those guys and excited to see what the future holds.”
Flanagan pitched for the RiverRats in 2009 and 2010. He was the ‘Rats’ closer his first season, then switched to a starting role in 2010 that earned him a spot in the Prospect League All-Star Game.
“I think it’s a great hire for Eaton. For him, it’s a great first coaching position,” said John Cate, co-owner of the RiverRats, and a former coach at the high school, college and professional levels.
“He needs to take the good from every coach he’s played for, and the bad from every coach he’s played for, and then use his own personality and his own philosophy and make a run with it. I think he’ll do a great, great job.”
Flanagan replaces Keltavious Jones at Eaton. The Eagles finished 8-15 overall last season, 6-6 in the SWBL Southwestern Division.
One staple of Flanagan’s team will be hard work.
“I want my guys to play hard at all times. They are going to hustle,” he said.
“I’m just thankful to get the opportunity, thankful to coach Cate and coach Lairson for all they’ve done for me. I’m just really excited to get started.”
Josh Chapin: (765) 973-4463 firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/JoshChapinPI