Mike Grahovac is the Head Coach of the defending NAIA national
champion Concordia-Irvine eagles. He was interviewed after a
non-conference win over Patten on February 17.
Bob Broughton, courtesyrunner.com: You just got a
complete game from Brett Clapper.
Mike Grahovac: He threw
very well today. He's a returning guy for us, and we needed that from
our pitching staff today.
BB: You did pretty well offensively, but Steven
McMichael got the hit that mattered, as it turned out.
MG: Yeah, he didn't start the first few games this year,
but we got him out there, and he's been hitting the ball all over the
place. We got him to start today, and he had a big hit for us.
BB: You were up
against pretty good pitching for the first seven innings.
MG: That guy out there
[Issac Duran] was throwing the ball really well today, off-speed,
fast balls, locating, he was doing really well.
BB: You're the
defending champions. You were recognized as Coach of the Year for it.
Has this improved Concordia's profile locally? When you go out to a
restaurant, are people starting to say, “that's Mike Grahovac”?
brought a lot of attention to Concordia University. The baseball
program, and the school. I'm a local guy, so I got a lot of phone
calls from friends, fellow coaches in Division I, Division II, all
the different divisions. I didn't win that award without my team.
They're the ones who did it, and I'm just the coach of the team I
think is the best in the nation. They've done it all for me.
you gotten more attention from potential recruits?
year alone, we've gotten several people in transfers. A kid from
Pepperdine, Aaron Gates, who was all-league. Thomas Hoenshell, a kid
from Cal State-Bakersfield who shut down Arizona State and South
Carolina last year, so we've gotten several Division I transfers,
Dave Peterson from Hawaii, and we got some top-of-the line JUCO
do you tell these guys, when they ask you why you should go to school
at Concordia? More from the academic standpoint than athletics?
school is very good in academics. If you're a business major, you're
going to get a top-of-the line business degree from here. It's one of
the top ten in the nation. We also have physical therapy, history,
all those different things that we can offer. And then you throw in
the baseball program, with the defending national champions, we're
offering a great education and great baseball.
I haven't checked to see how your men's basketball team has been
are first in the league right now. [The Eagles won the NAIA Division
I national championship.]
your baseball background?
played at Chapman University. Played there for three years, got
drafted by the San Francisco Giants, played in the minor leagues. My
career ended due to an injury. I coached one year at Chapman, coached
seven years at Orange Coast College, and then I was a police officer
for ten years. I ended up being the coach at Orange Lutheran High
School, coached Gerrit
Cole. I was there for three years, and this is my fourth year