Written by Michael Florio Thursday, 17 April 2014 00:00
Coaching to some can be measured by wins and losses. But New Hyde Park’s head baseball coach Doug Robins measures his success through the success of his players, on and off the field.
Robins has coached the Gladiators varsity baseball team since 1999 and made the playoffs 10 out of those 15 seasons. His teams have finished in second place in their league twice.
Despite his teams on field success, Robins goal is to help his players succeed and receive the opportunity to play college ball.
“My biggest thrill is watching the kids play baseball in college and hopefully get a scholarship to pay for their education,” he said.
Robins played Division I baseball as a pitcher for New York Institute of Technology and went onto play in the minor leagues.
He signed a minor league contract with Major League Baseball to play for a co-op team in the Pioneer League. This is a minor league team that is not affiliated with any major league team, but rather multiple teams or the MLB itself. Robins played against minor league affiliates of the Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves among others.
This is an experience Robins wants all of his players to receive and is his ultimate goal as a coach. He’s had two players go on to play in college last season and roughly 24 in total since he started.
“Having alumni come back and share their experience of how much they love playing college baseball, that’s what I like the most,” he said.
Robins understands to do this, his players need to do well in the classroom.
“I always tell my players ‘without good grades, there’s no baseball,’” he said.
Robins practices what he preaches, as he talks to his players’ teachers and sends letters to the players’ homes to make sure they are staying up on their grades.
As a pitcher himself, Robins calls the pitches during games, relaying the calls to the catcher.
He credits his assistant coach, Tom Nails, for much of his success.
“Having him has been a blessing, its like having a second head coach,” he said of Nails, who played college baseball at Sacred Heart.
Besides seeing his players go on to play in college and do well in school, he wants them to have confidence when they take the field.
“We preach for our kids to go out and have fun,” he said. “We want them to play lose be aggressive and don’t back down from anyone.”
Robins goal remains to win his first conference title and championship.