Sunday Sit Down: West Virginia Black Bears Head Coach Jedd Gyorko
Gyorko: The 2022 season, lessons from last year, being a head coach & advice to young players
MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - The West Virginia Black Bears opened their 2022 season this past season on the road, so there was no one better to sit down with than Head Coach Jedd Gyorko.
Returning after last year, Gyorko is excited for what the season will bring, “I think that the things that coaches love doing best is coaching, working with the kids getting out and being able to work with them each day, most of the job that we do is during batting practice and early work where we get to actual teach them and work with stuff and work on fundamentals, once the game starts we kind of sit back and watch them play, so before the game starts, that’s what were looking forward to the most.”
A University High School alum and WVU baseball grad, after eight years in the MLB, Gyorko has no hesitation on what brought him back to where it all started, “I think the most important thing was to be able to stay here at home, that was exciting for me, I wanted to stay close to my family, that was important to me, I’ve missed a lot of their lives, and to be able to come back here and stay home and be with them everyday was the main thing and then just excited to coach right here where it all started”
After his first year coaching in the MLB Draft League, Gyorko has experience on his side this season, and is goal i to keep getting these young players bigger opportunites, “Just making it about the kids, that’s the most important thing, none of these games are about myself or the coaches its all about the kids and getting their exposure, letting scouts see them go out and play and hopefully getting them drafted, we had seven kids drafted last year, so our goal is ultimately get more than that and get a bunch of kids signed.”
The players don’t have much time early on in the season before games start up, a few days of practice at most, which can be a challenge, but at the end of the day, the love of baseball brings them together, “Baseball you gotta build those relationships, you gotta build trust with each other, and were asking these kids to do it in a couple days, most teams have an entire season to do it, so it’s a lot to ask of them but the best part is you just roll the ball out of the field and you just go out and play, and that’s what the kids love,” said Gyorko.
For coach, his favorite part is the players, “Getting to interact with them and teach them, I started at the bottom and have worked my way all the way up to the top, so I’ve had a lot of life experiences in baseball, and just to be able to teach those kids and watch them learn is the best part.”
Making it to the big leagues is not something you hear about every day in West Virginia, but Gyorko is confident that hard work and effort can propel other natives of the mountain state to the big stage, ‘Just keep working, not many people from West Virginia make it and I’m proof right here that if you put your mind to it, put the hard work in, it is possible so don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t do it, go out there and get it done.”
Pealing back the curtain, Gyorko opens up about what fans may not know about the team just from coming to a Black Bears game, “The amount of work they’re putting in, these kids are getting here one or two o’clock on a seven o’clock game, there putting the work in, fans show up to the game and they watch these kids play and think they just showed up and played the game and that’s just not how it is that’s not how baseball works these kids are putting in eight to ten hour days every single say working their butts off so just the amount of work they’re putting in and hopefully we can get these kids out in the community a little bit this year with Covid dying off a little bit so hopefully we can get them exposed to the community and let them be seen.”
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