â€œMichigan State has found the man that can get them to a Big Ten title for the first time in decades.â€Â Weâ€™ve all heard that phrase before, and when you read it Iâ€™m sure you assume that weâ€™re discussing Mark Dantonio.Â However, he isnâ€™t the only coach on campus who fits this bill.Â Spartan Nation recently caught up with MSU Baseballâ€™s head man, Jake Boss, the next coach who will bring a Spartan sport out of the darkness and into the limelight.
Boss was extremely adamant when talking about the potential for the Spartans to win a Big Ten title in the future.Â When asked if MSU could be a perennial contender for the conference crown her responded emphatically:Â â€œOf course we can.â€Â This kind of talk wasnâ€™t simply macho bravado either, it was clear that Boss believed every word he said.Â He continued, â€œthree titles in 130 years of (Michigan State) baseball isnâ€™t enough.Â Weâ€™re here to change that and with the commitment Mark Hollis and the university have made to baseball weâ€™re going to.â€Â Boss knows that a coach alone canâ€™t win a championship, but with the support of the University, his job has gotten a heck of a lot easier.Â He concluded by saying, â€œweâ€™re going to get it done eventually and itâ€™ll be a great day when we do.â€
Boss has reason to be optimistic, as this 2011 squad will be loaded with talent.Â The Spartans will return 22 letter winners, a good sign for any team.Â Despite that experience, Boss still expects to see a fair amount of youth on the field.Â â€œOf our nine positions you may see anywhere from 5 to 6 of those positions being filled by freshmen or sophomores in a game,â€ he stated.Â Boss seemed to be extremely excited about the young talent on this team, a fact which may bode well for years to come in East Lansing.
But Boss didnâ€™t only talk about on-field topics, he also highlighted some of the more interesting off-field items in MSU baseball.Â He especially enjoyed talking about the First Pitch Dinner which was recently held.Â Boss said that the dinner is always one of the highlights of his year, and is a great way to kick off the season.Â This year three former members of the 1984 Detroit Tigers, Dan Petry, Dave Bergman, and Dave Rozema were invited to participate in a panel discussion recalling their World Series championship season.
Boss also discussed the Spartanâ€™s upcoming date with Central Michigan in Comerica Park.Â He talked about the game by saying, â€œPart of what we do is to create opportunities and lasting memories for our kid.â€Â He continued, â€œThis is something our guys will remember for the rest of their lives.Â And hopefully some of our guys will be playing regularly at Comerica Park in the future!â€Â But Boss couldnâ€™t quite hide that the excitement of stepping onto a pro ball-field wouldnâ€™t be only with the players.Â â€œItâ€™s a pretty cool thing for me too,â€Â he said, â€œItâ€™s not every day when you get to step on a field where the All Star Game and the World Series has been played.â€
When asked about his greatest strength as a coach, Boss replied in his usual gracious manner that he would be nothing without his fantastic assistant coaches.Â However, beneath this answer lies a subtext with truly reveals his greatest asset.Â Bossâ€™ humility is in fact his greatest strength.Â He understands that he isnâ€™t the only reason his team will win, and that his players and his assistants are just as much a part of the teamâ€™s success as he will be.Â With a humble attitude like that, and a genuine passion for the game of baseball and for Michigan State, it wonâ€™t be long before Jake Boss delivers a Big Ten championship back to the banks of the Red Cedar.