MORE: American Family Insurance ALL-USA Baseball Team
Name: Glenn Cecchini
School: Barbe (Lake Charles, La.)
Details: Coached his team to its ninth state title, including its third 5A title in a row. In 30 years as a coach at Barbe, including the last 29 as the head coach, he is 826-186, including 35-6 this season. He is the coach of this year’s USA Baseball U18 team that will play in the COPABE Pan Am “AAA” Championships. Coached the U18 team to a gold medal at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) World Cup in Japan last fall. Prior to this season, he has had 29 players drafted, including his two sons, Gavin and Garin, who are playing in the Class AAA Pacific Coast League this season.
Favorite teacher: My father (Richard) taught me psychology at our high school (Camarillo, Calif.). He was my favorite. The first test we took in his class, you had to pick a partner. He said you could communicate and collaborate, with each partner answering three essay questions. He said that life is about partnering and you have to have the ability to get along. My dad was all about ownership and accountability. He always said, ‘Blame no one, just be accountable.’ He taught me you could be anything.
Working on: You never quit growing. It’s about getting 1 percent better every day. My challenge is technology. There’s always a more efficient way to doing things.
Biggest accomplishment: Molding teenagers into successful young role models. We have 13 doctors, nine lawyers, successful business owners, successful coaches who have won state championships. The biggest accomplishment in baseball is coaching Team USA to the gold medal in the World Cup.
Biggest disappointment: The nine players in our program who have passed away because of drug or alcohol abuse. Obviously, that’s a national epidemic and in Southwest Louisiana, culturally, they want to let the good times roll. The former players who died were all great guys who got addicted. Addiction is a terrible thing and the best thing is to never begin an addiction.
What possession I would save from a fire: My bible.
Favorite MLB player: My favorite player of all-time was Hank Aaron. He never had a 50-home run season and he was one of the most consistent players of all time. My favorite pitcher was Nolan Ryan. Of the more modern-day guys, I liked Derek Jeter, just the way he played the game with class.
Mistake I learned from: Yelling at kids after they make mistakes. (former NFL and college football coach) Jimmy Johnson, said, ‘Attack the mistake, not the person.’ Sometimes as coaches, we can go overboard. Love your players like they are your biological kids. Treat them with respect. Teach them to play, locked in the moment.
Favorite super power: Jesus Christ is a super power. I get my strength from my faith.
First car I ever drove: A four-cylinder, lime-green hand-me-down Plymouth Cricket. The first car I owned was a Chevy Chevette with no air conditioning. It served me well.
Favorite Justin Bieber song: “Love Yourself.”
Walk-up song: I love that song, “Under Pressure,” by Queen and “We Are the Champions” by Queen.