GOING, GOING, GONE!
Senior Bryn Van Horne to manage the baseball team at Florida Gulf Coast University
Senior high school athletes all over the world are looking to make the leap to college as their days as high school students and players are coming to an end, with senior Bryn Van Horne being no different. While most of the recruitments that take place are to play a sport, Van Horne took a slightly different approach.
“I’m in love with the business and coaching side of the game rather than the playing aspect,” Van Horne said.
Van Horne practically grew up on a baseball field because of her family’s extensive baseball background. Having parents, grandparents, and siblings all involved in the sport, her love for the game was inevitable.
“You can say that baseball is in my blood,” Van Horne said.
As a child, Van Horne did not possess the same passion for baseball that she has now. She did not even play baseball, as it was gymnastics that took up her time. Her career in gymnastics was cut short due to a spinal fusion, so she decided to go back to the one thing she knew would always hold a special place in her heart: baseball.
Her passion was never to play baseball; it was the behind the scenes action that she enjoyed the most. Coming to the realization that this was not a mere hobby to her, she found herself having a conversation with Jason Paré, the Head of Analytics and Statistics for the MLB team, the Miami Marlins. As someone who had made it as far as he could go, Van Horne took him up on his advice to ask her school’s baseball coach to see if a position like that would be available to her.
“One day and one phone call later, I landed the job. I can easily say it was the best decision of my life,” Van Horne said.
From an outsider’s perspective, her job may not seem that complicated, but it is just the opposite. From organizing the team’s game and practice uniforms, to collecting statistics from every game, home and away, she may have one of the hardest, most demanding jobs of them all.
After collecting the data, sometimes by hand, she “inputs them into a giant website database that’s open to everyone. That’s probably the biggest thing that I do.” This job is not commonly done to this extent and the players on the team understand the sacrifices Van Horne makes in order for everything to be perfect for them.
“Believe it or not, she brings a family vibe to the team, she sets an example for the rest of the team by being the first one there and the last one to leave at each and every practice,” said senior varsity baseball player Charlie Nichols.
Her work is like no other, which is why she received attention from multiple colleges. Throughout her high school experience as a team manager, she knew she wanted to continue throughout college as well. Soon, she was talking to top ranked schools such as Louisiana State University, Florida State University, Florida Gulf Coast University and other big name schools about agreeing to be their manager.
When deciding what school she would manage, FGCU seemed like the obvious choice.
“I want to make a bigger impact on a smaller program than a smaller impact on a bigger program,” Van Horne said.
Probably the biggest impact one can have on a team is deciding who will be a part of it, and that is a main task in Van Horne’s job description.
“I’ll get to do in-office recruiting, which I am super excited about,” Van Horne said.
Trusting her knowledge for the game and her overall dedication to the job, they knew that she could handle such a vital task. Recruitment is one of the biggest jobs for anybody, let alone an incoming freshman. Recruitment will be just as challenging as it is enjoyable, because Van Horne understands that her decisions and selections in the recruitment process can be the deciding factor for a winning season.
Overall, Van Horne has never regretted her decision to participate in baseball from the sidelines.
Van Horne said, “I have so many phenomenal people and I’m eternally grateful.”