Henderson reunites with Cohen at MSU

Former Kentucky head coach Gary Henderson reunited with John Cohen at Mississippi State to serve as the Bulldogs’ new pitching coach. Henderson met with the media for the first time to discuss his first three days of practice with his new hurlers.

On having the team back together with fall classes in session

“It’s been great, easy. I had a really good idea of what to expect and with three days of practice so far, it’s gone pretty well.”

On working with John Cohen again after having previously worked with him at Kentucky

“I think the same basic person is still there. The work ethic’s intact, intelligence, insight, awareness, all those things are still intact.”

 On becoming an assistant coach after having previously been a head coach

“I think it makes you a better coach, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. Anybody that’s been a head coach that goes back to being an assistant coach is pretty much aware of things that you weren’t previously aware of. It makes you better and you know where the priorities need to be, where the issues could be, and take a hand in solving them before they’re something that the head guy’s got to deal with.”

 On the student-athletes that make up the team

“It’s a really good group of kids. [They’re] really polite, hardworking so far, and it’s really good to be a part of that. They’re enjoyable, I don’t know them well yet, but I’ll get to know them quickly.”

 On being the third pitching coach at Mississippi State in three years

“I think there’s always the challenge when there’s change for kids and no matter how similar or dissimilar you are to the previous coach. There’s going to be some adjustments, whether it’s terminology, or points of emphasis, or things that you stress, all these things that come up, so yeah there will be some challenges. Baseball kids are used to having different guys.”

 On pitching philosophy

“You really want to establish a staff and a culture of guys who really want to attack the bottom of the strike zone and you want to treat everyone as an individual, and I don’t want to be or have a cookie cutter approach. I don’t think that’s the best way of going about it, you need to have some principles that you stand by, a foundation to stand upon in terms of what you’re trying to achieve in the relationship and as a pitcher. Moving forward from that honesty, being direct, trying to be as thorough as you can, and try and let the kid be an athlete.”

 On reason for taking assistant job at MSU

“John Cohen. When I resigned I certainly didn’t expect him to call me in three weeks, but nothing more than that, (it was) that simple.”

On the value of baseball in Starkville

“Baseball is really important here. The facilities are outstanding, second-to-none. The commitment to having a top-flight program from Scott Stricklin, down is very evident and there’s real passion for baseball in the state.”

 On recruiting people to Mississippi State

“There’s no shortage of kids who want to be part of this, at all, there’s no shortage of kids who want to be part of our program, there’s no shortage of kids who want to be part of Mississippi State, and that part is really nice to be a part of.”

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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