The Day – CGA’s Casey is a proud member of his family’s baseball coaching tree
New London – As the son of a very successful college baseball coach, Brian Casey never felt pressured to follow in his father’s footsteps.
It seemed like a logical choice given Brian’s love for the sport and the positive experience that grew around his father’s teams at Tufts University, where John Casey won more than 750 games in a legendary 38-year career before retiring.
Brian, 36, the eldest of four boys in the Casey family, had no idea his two brothers would end up going down the same path.
Now Brian is in his second season as head coach at Coast Guard Academy while Kevin, 34, runs the Johnson & Wales program in Providence and Brendan, 31, is associate head coach at Tufts in Medford, Mass.
Chris, 28, is in another line of work but coaching AAU baseball.
“The cool thing is that we all found the coaching on our own,” Brian said. “Obviously we had an influence from my dad who has been in collegiate athletics for almost 40 years and grew up on a college campus.
“But, he never forced us to do it. … He told us, ‘You don’t have to coach because I coach. But we’ve all seen the value you get out of it. It’s not a 9 to 5 job. It’s a job that you should think of as an extension of your family. It’s something we learned from him.
Brian explored other options before entering the coaching ranks.
After graduating from Tufts in 2007, he took a job in sports marketing. He practiced this profession for about four months before deciding to return to school.
Brian returned to Tufts as a graduate assistant and has been on the sidelines ever since.
“It was during that first year back in graduate school and starting training that I got the hang of it,” he said.
After spending five seasons as an assistant at Tufts, Brian served as pitching coach and associate head coach at William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., helping the Tribe to five 30+ seasons and winning two NCAA Regional Finals in eight seasons. .
Brian jumped at the chance to take on his first Coast Guard head coaching job in 2021. The Bears are 9-6 this spring heading into the opener of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Saturday at MIT.
“I love it here,” Brian said. “It’s worked out really well for me. When you’re an assistant coach and you’re looking for an opportunity to be a head coach and run your own program, ideally you’d like to be able to choose the place that gives you everything you need. you are looking for.This place certainly ticked all the boxes both professionally and personally.
“So I was very lucky to come here. I think it’s a great opportunity to be good.”
Living in New England within driving distance of his family — his wife, Kara, is from Springfield — was an added attraction to working at the academy.
The Casey brothers, coaches, actually see each other during baseball season.
This season, Brian has coached against Kevin’s side, sweeping a Johnson & Wales doubleheader on Sunday, and lost to Brendan’s side on March 14 at Tufts.
The brothers exchanged a hug before the match and then put aside their family ties.
“We’ve all faced each other at least once,” Brendan said. “It’s always fun. We just found a way to see each other at work. People have business meetings with their friends, we have a game against each other so we can hang out together for five hours.
“And we can play each other. It’s not like it’s great to beat either of them. But, on the other hand, if I have to lose to someone, I might as well lose to someone in the family.”
Sunday’s match at Johnson & Wales was a true Casey family affair.
Diane, mum/manager of the Casey clan, showed up to watch Brian and Kevin practice against each other. John, who is essentially semi-retired, is an assistant on Kevin’s team, while Mom always tries to be neutral.
“I think my mom really enjoys seeing us share these experiences,” Brian said. “She’s our biggest fan. When she comes to games, she tries to find a seat halfway between the two dugouts so it doesn’t look like she’s choosing sides.”
As coaches, the three brothers share some of the same philosophies. They regularly exchange ideas during conversations on the phone or in a group text.
But their personalities are different.
Brian says he’s the most reserved, Kevin is more outgoing and aggressive, and Brendan is laid back.
“It’s funny, once the game starts and you get into a competitive mindset, that advantage comes through all of us, but we’re all very different,” Brian said. “And Chris is as determined as any of us. He’s a really competitive person.”
Brendan credits Brian for paving the way for his younger brothers.
“He paved the way for all of us,” Brendan said. “He had to work hard. By the time I got into the sport in high school, all the coaches in high school knew my name because Brian and Kevin were so successful before me. It definitely benefited me a lot.
“Brian never had that. Brian had to groom himself. He’s an extremely hard worker. He worked for everything he got.”
The Casey family is growing.
Both Brian and Kevin had their first child in the past year.
Cullen, Brian’s nine-month-old son, recently attended his first baseball game.
Maybe one day Cullen will follow in his father’s footsteps.
“Like everyone else, I want my son to do what he wants to do,” Brian said. “Obviously if I’m still coaching when he grows up, if they let me do that, I’m going to try to keep him involved in the program and grow about 35 older brothers like me. It was a childhood experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.
“I’m very grateful that my dad allowed us to be around the program as much as he did. That’s why we have such an appreciation for what we do now and how we try to build our respective programs. now that we’re the head coaches. Now we’re trying to build it like a family.”