Troy Tulowitzki has a new job title — coach.
During a conference call with reporters on Monday, Tulowitzki explained his decision to join The University of Texas as a volunteer assistant baseball coach shortly after announcing he was hanging up his spikes.
“I love college baseball and what it’s about,” Tulowitzki said. “I had a great experience at Long Beach State [as a player]. And I always kept it in the back of my mind, saying one day when I was done playing I’d like to get back into the college game. So when I felt like that [possibility] was a reality, I’d been doing my homework on different programs and it kind of led me to Texas.
“I thought it was the best opportunity for myself and my family, and I have good friends there as well. It’s a great university, and I’m just looking forward to teaching the kids what I’ve learned on and off the field and turn them not just into good baseball players, but good people in general if they do things the right way.”
Tulowitzki, 34, was a five-time All-Star during his excellent 13-year MLB career with the Colorado Rockies, Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees. Injuries likely robbed him of a shot at the Hall of Fame. He officially announced his retirement last Thursday.
“There came a point in time this year after I strained my calf [the work] just wasn’t as enjoyable as it once was because I couldn’t do some of the things work-wise that I had done before,” Tulowitzki said of his decision to retire. “And I started thinking to myself — I obviously have a son who is 5 years old and I want to be part of what’s going on in his life and being there for him as a father — so everything just started lining up and I decided to make a decision.”
His next stop will be learning from Longhorns head coach David Pierce.
“Anybody who knows me knows I’m up for a challenge,” Tulowitzki said. “I like teaching this game and trying to get guys to realize and maximize their potential. I knew from a young age that [coaching] was in me. Coach Pierce is competitive like myself. He definitely wants to win. But even more importantly when I did meet him, he’s a good guy. He’s genuine. He’s not in it for himself.”
Tulowitzki made $163.4 million during his playing career, according to Baseball Reference, so he’s certainly not in this for the money.
“I’m in it for these kids, man, to share my experiences, to sit there and like I said make them better people,” Tulowitzki said. “What I’ve learned is if you sit there and do your job opportunities come about. That’s what I did my entire career which is why I have this opportunity in front of me. And if I do my job there who knows what comes of it but I just want to be the best volunteer coach that I can possibly be.”
Tulowitzki had to work extremely hard to make himself a successful player, a quality that figures to serve him well during his coaching career.
“I don’t consider myself a natural,” Tulowitzki said. “I didn’t get drafted out of high school. I had to basically beg Long Beach State to take me. While I was there I feel like I turned myself into a good player, but honestly I felt like everything I did was through hard work. I taught myself how to get better. So therefore — and I explained this with Coach Pierce — I feel like a lot of things I can do on a baseball field weren’t natural to me.
“At this point in time if you were to line up our careers [with the Texas players], they’re probably more talented than I was.”
Tulowitzki wasn’t ready to discuss a possible future as a big-league manager or GM, saying “I’m gonna keep the main thing the main thing.”
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