Fall Report: MarylandFall Report
Rob Vaughn was perfectly groomed to take over as Maryland’s head coach and continue the fine work of his predecessor, John Szefc, who made the Terrapins a nationally relevant program for the first time in decades.
Widely regarded as a young rising star in the coaching ranks, Vaughn spent the last five years as an assistant under Szefc and was elevated to associate head coach in July of 2016. During that period, Vaughn was responsible for running the offense — which he describes as a “pack” mentality, learned from Sam Houston State coach Matt Deggs and Southeast Missouri State coach Andy Sawyers, two of his coaching mentors. As an assistant, Vaughn also led Maryland’s efforts to recruit position players — but he had nothing to do with the pitching side.
“The one thing Coach Szefc did for me was he really let me coach and let me run the offense; he wasn’t looking over my shoulder,” Vaughn said. “The fall’s been a lot of really trying to pull back and see, what is my role now? Because I was so intimately involved with the hitters and the way we recruit, that’s really been my life for the last seven years … We’ve kind of shifted the way we’re doing things in that regard. But that’s part of what I’m doing this fall, diving in with the pitchers. I want to get to know you and what makes you tick.”
Vaughn brought in another rising star in Corey Muscara (formerly of St. John’s) to serve as his pitching coach, and that has helped his transition to the head job. That transition has been seamless, because Vaughn has played a big role in Maryland’s rise over the last five years — a period that included three trips to regionals and two supers. He knows this program inside-out, and he already has the respect of the players. And it helps that Maryland returns a mature veteran core loaded with leadership. The character of this club has impressed Vaughn more than anything else this fall.
“To be honest with you, superceding any ability, it’s their grit and toughness. This is really a seasoned group,” Vaughn said. “I think the leader of the whole thing is Kevin Biondic.”
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