A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend several days with Seattle University Coach Donny Harrel in the Dominican Republic. We spent a lot of time on the baseball diamond, and I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with him and talking baseball. (If you meet him, ask for his George Brett story.) Coach Harrel played in the Kansas City Royals’ organization before starting his college coaching career at Lane Community College. Since then, he became the assistant coach at Oregon State University, and later the University of Washington while Tim Lincecum was there (more good stories to ask him about).
After four years at the University of Washington, Coach Harrel took the head coaching job at Seattle University. The crazy thing about the job was that at the time, Seattle University didn’t own a baseball, let alone have a baseball team. Donny is now entering his fifth season and is trying to continue the trend of increasing the team win total each year.
Many thanks to Coach Harrel for sitting down with Next Level Ballplayer and talking about all the following: The recruiting process from the college coaches perspective, how he evaluates players, the hardest adjustment he sees for freshman baseball players, what it has been like building a college baseball program from scratch and much more.