Head baseball coach Jamey Shouppe has high expectations for his team in his second-year at Florida A&M University.
The Rattlers baseball team hadn’t won more than 19 games for five seasons prior Shouppe’s arrival. His first season at FAMU, led to a 26-26 overall record and their first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament appearance in three seasons.
And Shouppe is trying to continue the success despite starting the 2015 season (7-12, 4-2 MEAC).
Shouppe has high hopes for the season and looks forward to the challenges of the new team.
“We’re excited! We have a lot of people returning from last year’s team that was able to co-win in our divisions [MEAC],” Shouppe said. “We did some things last year that surprised a lot of people…so we have high expectations. We coach every game to win.”
Shouppe’s impact with the team is felt every day throughout the program. His aim is to build a winner that earns the respect of players and coaches alike.
Players have expressed how Shouppe has greatly impacted the morale and efforts on the field.
Senior left fielder Marlon Gibbs thinks of Shouppe as a fierce competitor.
"When I hear of ‘Jamey Shouppe’ tenacious comes to mind…he gets after it,” Gibbs said. “The culture here at FAMU has changed…people are now showing up on time to practice and are staying later to work harder on their game to perfect their craft.”
Shouppe has a winning mentality and has instilled that in not only his players, but the other coaches as well.
Last season, Shouppe led the team to a victory over the University of Florida; who was ranked the No. 6 team in the country.
FAMU will face them again this year, now they again ranked in the top ten, but that doesn’t bother Shouppe at all.
“Our goal is play to win so that we can get to get to the NCAA tournament which would be the first time in history for FAMU,” Shouppe said.
Assistant Coach Brett Richardson has the advantage of having the experience and relationships with the players before Shouppe arrived. Thus helping the transition from one regime to the next.
“We are very encouraged and excited about this season,” Richardson said. “The most important thing is to compete every time…I was here before coach [Shouppe] came along now that he is here, things are different.”
One of the changes that players have had to adjust to is how Shouppe wants them to approach every at-bat.
Junior outfielder Peter Jackson is pleased with the impact coach Shouppe has made so far through his time in charge.
“He has come in and taught us how to hit differently and now we are hitting the ball well as a team,” Jackson said. “We have to go by his playing style, therefore it is a lot of things we have to get used to but it is very helpful.”