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Former major league pitcher named new Panthers pitching coach

Bootcheck_Chris_GSUBsb17_1342The Georgia State baseball program has appointed former Major League Baseball pitcher Chris Bootcheck as the new pitching coach.

Bootcheck attended Auburn University until being drafted in the 2000 MLB draft to the Los Angeles Angels. Spending the majority of his professional career with the Angels, Bootcheck played in the majors from 2003-13. Playing for other teams such as the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Yankees.   

Seeing his best season in 2007 with the Angels, Bootcheck appeared in 51 games finishing with a 3-3 record.

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Bootcheck, husband of Jina Bootcheck and father of three daughters, is excited about his recent move to Georgia State and reflects on playing in the majors.

 

What was it like playing major league baseball?

Bootcheck: It was exciting. I think a lot of guys work a long time to get to that level and the odds of getting there aren’t very good. That’s just the reality of getting to that level. For me having a father who played baseball professionally and never made it to the big leagues, made it that much sweeter for me. To be able to carry that on and live the dream that my dad carried as well.

 

Wake Forest University

What made you want to transition from the majors to coaching college student-athletes?

Bootcheck: Well part of it was the impact my dad had on me as a player and throughout my career. Especially the latter part. You start to realize the difference that good coaching makes. So as a veteran in the clubhouse it was a time for me to help other guys.

 

How do you plan on taking what you learned in the majors and incorporating it into your coaching technique?

Bootcheck: I think a lot of that starts with the players. How they respond to what we want to do and the direction we want to go in as a program. That’s where I think we need to start and look at last year briefly. What we did well and what we can improve on. I just think waiting for that response and seeing who is going to rise to the occasion to be the guy we can put out there and depend on to win ball games.

 

Have you been able to meet any of the pitchers?

Bootcheck: I did. I’ve met a lot of people in the last few days. The way the guys responded, I’m exciting to work with all of them and get to know them.

 

What are your thoughts on being apart of the Panther family?

Bootcheck: I’m excited about it. Very excited. I felt like this was a good fit for me. Having a chance to work under a head coach that’s been doing this for a long time, has a lot of experience and that’s highly respected in the college game is a great opportunity. Even the assistants we have are well qualified and I mesh with them well so far. I think that will only gets better over time and hopefully that translates into a successful season.

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