Connect with us

Athletic Directors

20 Questions: Bryan High Baseball Head Coach David Ashby

Looking for more information about Omaha Bryan High Baseball? Contact Head Coach Ashby today david.ashby(at)

What is your team outlook for 2024?
We improved from 1-win to 6-wins in 2023. We look to continue that growth trend in 2024.

Players to watch in 2024?
Omar Ramirez (IF/P), Raymond Coffey (2B/P), John Clemons (OF), Justus Anaya (CF) and David Adame (C)

How long have you been coaching high school baseball?
This will be my 3rd season.

What inspired you to become a high school baseball coach?
I love trying to help kids grow in to adults, combine that with my love of athletics, and coaching is the perfect job for me!

What is your coaching philosophy when it comes to developing high school baseball players?
I love baseball because it’s one of the only sports where you can’t rely too much on your athleticism. Obviously being athletics helps, but you’re not going to be successful in this sport if you don’t work your tail off. One of our team mottos is “hard work pays off.” We whole heartily believe we can win ball games by working harder that our opponents. In the classroom, weight room and practice field.

Can you share some key principles you instill in your players regarding sportsmanship?
A lot of people merge their competitiveness with anger. We want our kids to be competitive, but we teach them you can compete with joy. It doesn’t need to be expressed with anger. When you compete with joy, that eliminates a lot of the hostility you might see between opponents.

What is your approach to balancing academics and athletics for your players?
Our kids know the entire reason high school sports exist is to motivate students to do well in school. There is a standard within Bryan Baseball (WebXFacebook) that you must be an excellent student. As much as we’ve improved on the field since I’ve been here, we’ve improved even more in the classroom. We just posted a 3.50 team GPA in the first semester.

How do you address the varying skill levels and experience within the team?
Bryan is unique in that over 1/2 our players didn’t play baseball until their freshman year. We embrace this challenge and coach each player to be the best they can be in this moment. There is a teaching strategy called “differentiated instruction” that we implement in our practices. Long story short, we don’t give every kid the same practice plan. Each kid has their own prescribed drills designed to meet them where they are as a player.

Can you describe your strategy for preparing the team for important games or tournaments?
From my experience, the biggest challenge players face in these situations is nerves. I learned a lot from reading and watching Tom Osborne’s coaching style. I (try to) stay calm, I emit confidence and sometimes I’ll pull kids aside and use strategies to cultivate their self confidence.

One of the most effective things is to remind them of a time when they experienced success in a similar situation. Remind them they’ve, “been there, done that.’

How do you encourage players to set and work towards both individual and team goals?
The first thing is to cultivate a friendship and brotherhood within the team. We then set a team goal and encourage each other to work our tails off because we never know when the team is going to need us. The brotherhood we develop encourages kids to work hard because they don’t want to let each other down.

What emphasis do you place on mental preparation?
I give a “skull session” at the end of every-other practice. These are 5-minute lessons on a variety of subjects that typically revolve around the mental parts of the game. These lessons also talk about being a good person, a good friend, a hard worker, and someday and good husband and father. The great thing as a coach is that usually good people make great baseball players.

What role do statistics and analytics play in your coaching decisions?
I’m a huge stats nerd. I rely on three stats to determine our starting lineup and batting order. OPS+SB, Quality Plate Apperence %, and K’s/AB.

OPS+SB factors in extra base hits and base stealing. We have a few criteria for a quality plate appearance and teach kids that even when they get out, they can contribute. And we place a hug emphasis on putting the ball in play. We want to put pressure on the other team and would love for their defense to earn all 21 outs. Strikeouts are too easy for them.

How do you manage playing time and ensure fair opportunities for all team members?
Our kids know this is high school baseball, if they want playing time, they need to produce. There’s always about 5 kids who are too good to come out of the lineup. Then there’s 6-8 kids competing for the other 4 spots.

We will rotate those 6-8 kids in and out and give them opportunities to prove they should be one of those 5 who we can’t take out.

What role do leadership and captaincy play within your team, and how are leaders selected?
You can name someone the “captain” and slap a “C” on their chest, but that doesn’t make them a leader. Captains emerge organically. We teach every kid on our team to be a leader and then assess who’s showing the most leadership potential. Those are the kids we’ll pull aside and talk to when we need someone to perform any variety of “captain’s” duties.

What resources or facilities are available to the baseball team for practice and games?
We’re fortunate that we have our field literally feet from the front door of our school building. We also have an indoor baseball facility that’s a 5-minute drive from BHS.

What qualities do you look for in assistant coaches to ensure a cohesive coaching staff?
There are several qualities that make a good assistant coach. They need to be reliable. They need to be willing to learn, grow and evolve. They need to be willing to do what’s best for the program (sometimes losing a JV game will win varsity games down the road). They need to form strong relationships with the kids.

What advice do you give to players aspiring to pursue baseball beyond high school?
Grades above all else. Literally nothing you do matters if you don’t have the grades to go with it. You could be Shohei, but they’re not going to waste their time with you with they’re concerned you won’t qualify academically.

As far as baseball specifically, you need to take the weight room seriously. When you make the jump from HS to college, you’ll be playing against grown men in their early 20’s. You could bridge this gap by adding 20-pounds of muscle by committing to lifting and eating right.

What services do you utilize to help players that want to pursue baseball beyond high school?
I’m old school. If I think a kid might be a good fit at a certain school/level, I’ll email that school’s coaches and encourage them to give our kid a look.

How do you engage with parents to ensure a collaborative and supportive environment for the team?
Open and honest communication is key.

What else should we know about your baseball program?
Bryan Baseball is a place for all levels of players. We have incoming freshmen who played Major level USSSA baseball, and players who are going to play baseball for the first time.

We also are a great place for current HS players who are looking for a fresh start. If you get cut at your current school don’t stop playing baseball, come to Bryan. We’ll give you individualized coaching to help you grow and prove yourself.


More in Athletic Directors

error: Copyright © 2020-2023 Omaha Sports Network. All Rights Reserved. Legal : Privacy