Chad Landry takes over coaching at Bridge City for 2008-2009 School year
“I could not be more excited about the opportunity to coach one of the stronger 3-A baseball programs in the state of Texas,” said Chad Landry via our long distance conversation Friday night. At that point, the board still had not convened to finalize his hiring and Landry was taking nothing for granted. (Editor’s note: Landry was hired at the Bridge City School Board Meeting Monday night.)
Following a short pause after his opening statement, he quickly added, “There is one more thing even more exciting due to take place this summer, but it is not baseball related. My wife Mandi and I are looking forward to the birth of our first child in August. It is going to be a boy so it may be baseball related in the future!”
Landry is no stranger to Southeast Texas baseball as the left-handed pitcher / first baseman played a key roll on Coach Jay Stone’s state ranked teams in the late ‘90s.
Upon graduating, he continued his baseball career for the next two years under the tutelage of Coach Lloyd Simmons at Seminole State Junior College in Oklahoma. Having completed that two-year stint, he extended his playing days by accepting a scholarship to play Division I baseball under Coach Larry Hays at Texas Tech.
He earned a starting position at every stop and feels that the opportunity to participate at three different levels accelerated his
learning curve as a future coach.
“Coach Simmons’ nickname was ‘Zero,’” said Landry, “and it did not carry any negative connotation. He had a zero tolerance policy and he believed in zero losses!”
“The common ground in all three of the programs I was a part of was discipline and commitment.”
While Landry is well aware of the fact that every coach has to be himself to succeed over the long haul, he built his teams at
Hamshire-Fannett on the positives he learned from his own coaches.
“Coaching is more a case of managing at the Division I level because every player on scholarship is already very skilled,” points out Landry.
“Coach Hays actually did more managing than coaching as he had to spend a great deal of time communicating, motivating, and dealing with the egos of athletes that knew they could play the game.
At Seminole State, Coach Simmons handled every aspect of the game and I still conduct my practices much the same as his.”
Having graduated from a traditionally rich football program in Southeast Texas, Landry says he looks forward to working with head football coach and Athletic Director Cris Stump as well.
“I am not sure as to what my assignment will be, but I cannot wait to get started.” Stump was impressed with Landry’s enthusiasm and motivational skills following their interviews.
After missing the initial interview because of illness,
Superintendent Jamey Harrison came away with much the same impression as Stump. “He was not only impressive, but we were especially pleased that he was so excited over the opportunity to come to Bridge City,” said Harrison.
“There are a number of reasons why I view the Cardinal baseball job as a great opportunity, but from strictly a baseball perspective, it was a no-brainer,” said Landry. “The strength of the youth baseball program in this community and the support of the parents is astonishing.”
Every year you see young kids break into the high school line-up and it is because they are so well-schooled in fundamentals as a youngster. “With that continuous influx of good athletes that understand the game, there is the potential for great things happening around here every year.”
Landry is equally quick to point out that while he may have only six years of coaching experience, five as the head coach, he still feels very qualified to fill the new position. “We were one of the smaller 3-A school and we still made the playoffs three out of five years.”
“The most obvious difference in one of my practices may well be the intensity level. I learned that lesson from Coach Simmons and it has served me well. If you can create a degree of intensity in practice, your players will handle those tough situations under game conditions much better. When all else is equal, it is the mental aspect of the game that usually gets you beat.”
Landry also believes won-loss records can be very deceiving when evaluating the job a coach has done or not done.
“I learned long ago that compiling an impressive won-loss record is not the true measuring stick as to the strength of your club. Overall records can take a beating when you strive to better your players by playing up in class and I have always done that with my teams.” He added, “The two things that matter the most are how much each of your kids have improved and where you finish at the end of the year. W-L records do not count for much when your kids are riding back home with the trophy at the end of the season!”