Assistant Baseball Coach Sean McDermott Strolls Down Memory Lane This Weekend|
March 29, 2001
By Danny Smith
This weekend means a little more to UIC assistant baseball coach Sean McDermott.
McDermott will have memories steadily running through his mind, as the Flames will host his former squad Viterbo for a three-game set. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. Friday, March 30, with Saturday and Sunday's game slated for a 1:05 p.m. start.
McDermott served as the LaCrosse, Wis., school's head coach from 1995-98.
"I have tremendous memories of the university and its players," McDermott said. "I really have nothing but fine things to say about my experience at Viterbo.
"There were just a lot of great things we were able to do with the program and a lot of great kids I was able to work with."
It's good McDermott has nothing but nice things to say about the V-Hawks (5-8-1) because he wouldn't want to anger his brothers.
McDermott's younger brothers, Kevin and Cullen, are both members of the Viterbo program. Kevin is an assistant coach while Cullen is a sophomore shortstop both figuring to make the weekend that much more interesting for the third-year UIC assistant coach.
"We're a pretty competitive group and my whole family will be down here watching," McDermott said. "You know, I may not be rooting for them, but I definitely won't be rooting against them. It should just be a real fun time."
McDermott decided to leave Viterbo in 1998 an enter the Division I ranks as an assistant coach with the Flames despite notching a school record 32 wins in 1997 and leading the V-Hawks to the 1998 NAIA Regional Tournament.
"I was at the NAIA level and wanted an opportunity to work with UIC Head Coach Mike Dee," McDermott said. "I was looking for an opportunity to build a program with the ultimate support of the administration and I have that [at UIC].
"I just really wanted to make sure I was in a position to be a better coach and help kids. The move just seemed like the right thing to do."
McDermott is thrilled to be facing his old squad, though few of the current V-Hawks players were under his direction. Viterbo is a young squad to say the least with only seven upperclassmen on the roster.
"When I left in 1998, I left [current Viterbo Head Coach Dale] Varsho with an extremely senior-laden team, so really now it is an entirely different program than when I was there." McDermott said. "I would always like to schedule [Viterbo].
"I think it's important to give them an opportunity to play a Division I school," McDermott continued. "After all, baseball is baseball and, hopefully, we can do this every so often."
For McDermott, there are memories to be had and many more memories to be made this weekend.