added 10/14/2008 by Matt Stilley
Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Matt Stilley and I am a third-year math education student at Louisiana State University. At Albany High School, I was a four-year letterman pitcher on a perennially mediocre ballclub and posted perennially mediocre numbers. But, through the ups and downs of four high school seasons, I learned to appreciate the game. I developed a passion that is constantly burning inside of me to gain more information and understand the sport of baseball.
After my sophomore year, I decided I wanted to become a baseball coach. I learned both how to run a team and how to lose control of one at the same time. It was something that I knew I could do.
After I graduated, my school retained me as an assistant coach where I stayed for two seasons. I was the head coach during the summer and fall. After last season, I was asked to come to another local school, Independence High, where I am in my first season as an assistant coach. Here I am continuing to learn the intricacies of the game and how to run a club successfully, in hopes that I'll have a head gig somewhere as soon as I graduate from college.
Coaching is, in my opinion, one of the most rewarding jobs anyone can have. Everyday I have the opportunity to teach a game that I love and, more importantly, teach a little something about life to young people who may be going through hard times like I have already encountered. Character, Pride, and Passion are the three points I make on a daily basis and its no coincidence that character is at the front of this list. I learned quickly in high school that bad attitudes and "me and against the world" mentalities were a good way to fail.
The Astros have been my favorite Major League team for as long as I can remember. I can recall watching Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio in the early '90s and thinking that I wanted to play the game the same way they did. I now hope to teach young men to play like Bagwell and Biggio did. Hopefully, we'll also win a few games along the way.
As someone who loves to watch, play, and coach baseball, I am thankful for the opportunity I have been given to bring my opinions and observations to Astros fans. I hope to be here for quite a while, as long as my passion for this great American pastime will allow. As it stands right now, I can't envision my life without baseball for more than a day.
AstrosDaily.com welcomes Matt as our new Astroweek columnist with the beginning of the 2009 season. He'll also provide other columns on occasion.