Third Time’s a Charm for TJC Baseball

Feb 14, 2017 by
Head Baseball Coach Doug Wren

Head Baseball Coach Doug Wren

And for TJC Head Baseball Coach Doug Wren, the first and second times were pretty great, too. Wren is the head coach of the TJC Apache baseball team that earlier this year won the national championship for an unprecedented third year in a row – and fourth overall. Apache magazine sat down with Coach Wren to discuss the team’s success.

Share a little bit about your love of the game.

My grandpa and dad both played baseball. It’s been a tradition in the family, and I played all my life. After graduating from Arlington High School in 2001, I was recruited by several colleges. TJC was my last stop that summer. I loved the feel of the campus and Tyler as a town. It seemed like a good fit. I played shortstop and third base for the TJC team from 2001 to 2003 before finishing my college career at Howard Payne University in 2006.

When did you start coaching?

I started coaching at Weatherford College as an assistant for a year. In 2008,
I came to TJC as an assistant coach under John Groth. When he stepped down,
I became head coach in 2010.

What is your coaching philosophy?

Our program is a development opportunity. Our guys are coming into a two-year school, so our goal is to develop and move them to the next level. We want them to grow in a lot of different aspects, from their baseball skills to the classroom to becoming a responsible adult. We have a motto here on staff that we want our players to be different when they leave here.

What goes into making a
championship team?

It’s a mindset more than anything. We talk about making championship decisions, whether it’s getting up on time, eating the right things, going to class and being present and then working at practice to get better each and every day. We’ve been blessed with talented baseball players. All that combined creates the right mindset for winning ballgames.

What do you tell your players
before games?

Trust who you are as a player and the work you’ve put in. Our players work as hard as they can during the week, so when the opportunity comes on game day, I want them to fully trust the preparation.

What does it feel like to be a
three-peat champion?

It’s pretty surreal. When we get together each August, we talk about winning a national championship, and we put the time and work into doing that. To do that three times in a row is not easy, and it’s a testament to the guys and the work they put into it.

Do you have a memorable moment from this last season?

At the very first practice in the spring, the team got together at center field. I told them to look at the empty seats in the stadium and to close their eyes and visualize playing for the national championship and the stands packed with people. As a coach, you try to create a vision for your guys. Fast-forward to May, we made it to the World Series and national championship game. We had a two-and-a-half hour rain delay. After the storm passed, we had the opportunity as a team to be at center field again to see the stands full. We were looking at what we had visualized four months prior. It was a pretty special moment and you realize this has to be our day. We went on to win the game 4-3 at 1 o’clock in the morning.

Tell us about this year’s team. Are you going for four?

Always. We try to approach this year like all the others. Four championship titles in a row has never been done at the junior college level. We have a young team this year, but we’re going to give it our best shot.


Comments

comments

Features, Winter 2017

About the author

Tracy Torma is a staff writer for The Apache.