Thursday, 22 March 2012 18:16

Interview with Concordia-Irvine Coach Mike Grahovac

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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, 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”?

MG: It's 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.

BB: Have you gotten more attention from potential recruits?

MG: This 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 transfers.

BB: What do you tell these guys, when they ask you why you should go to school at Concordia? More from the academic standpoint than athletics?

MG: This 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.

BB: And I haven't checked to see how your men's basketball team has been playing lately...

MG: They are first in the league right now. [The Eagles won the NAIA Division I national championship.]

BB: What's your baseball background?

MG: I 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 here.

Last modified on Thursday, 22 March 2012 18:20


Bob Broughton started going to British Columbia home games in 2001, and was favorably impressed with the caliber of play. This led to annual trips to the NAIA Baseball National Championship in Lewiston, ID, a nine-hour drive from Vancouver. He retired in Guanajuato, Mexico in 2012.


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