BUENA VISTA, Va. Southern Virginia University Athletic Director Tom Longenecker has announced the hiring of Logan Mann as the Interim Head Baseball Coach. Coach Mann, a former player for the Knight Baseball team and originally from Fayetteville, N.C., will begin immediately.
"I want this program to be strong and viable for our campus," said Longenecker. "We have players on our campus who have become solid students, players and people because of their experiences with the program. I want Coach Mann to keep that environment for the program. We want them to be successful on the field as well. I want this program to win, and go on to post-season play."
Mann comes to the position after a strong career as a member of the baseball team that had one of the most successful periods for SVU Baseball. The past two years have seen the team amass the most wins in a two year period ever, and Mann was a large contributor to that as he was a mainstay at second base and pitcher. Batting over .300, Mann was a constant presence for the team, and was a leader who helped in achieving this success for the program. Longenecker felt these traits were a big component in choosing Mann as the one to oversee the program this season, and Mann will look to build on this success as he heads into his first coaching assignment.
"I am excited for this season," said Mann. "This program has a lot of potential, and you can see what has been accomplished with the right group of players. I hope to make SVU Baseball something great."
Mann will look to start immediately with recruiting for the spring, as well as establishing the tone for the program. Success for this year, according to Mann, will be based on the ability of the players to adapt to a new coaching staff, and learning the accountability necessary to be a productive baseball player. Mann will also be looking to create an atmosphere of teamwork for the program that will help returners and newcomer gel quickly and find positive results on the field.
"It's one of our assets that we're young this year because we won't know limits," said Mann. "However, that youth will also be challenge because it takes time for younger players to understand what it means to be a collegiate ball-player. I'm confident though that we have good returning players who can lead the way, and help us during the challenging moments."
Mann will look to implement an aggressive style of play that will put the opposing team under pressure, and force them to play perfectly. By forcing the issue, Mann hopes to establish the tone of the team and maximize the speed he's looking to bring in. His focus will also be on individual players and their growth.
"I want each player to feel like they've improved as a player, a teammate and, most importantly, as a person," said Mann. "I want them to feel satisfied with their accomplishments, and see this experience as rewarding athletically, but also in a long-term and personal way."
Mann served a mission in the Honduras Tegulcigalpa Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He lives in Buena Vista with his wife Rebecca, who was a member of the SVU Women's basketball team from 2006-2008.
Returning to the staff for the 2010 season will be Assistant Coach John Mills. Mills, a former player for SVU as well, assisted the program last year. Mann and Mills will be reunited as a coaching staff after being teammates in 2007 and 2008. Mills is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. A schedule for season games will be posted early in the next month.