Matador Minute with Baseball Operations Thomas "Big Tom" Hutchison
Dec. 15, 2010
The first game of the 2011 season is only weeks away, with Opening Day taking place at Matador Field on February 18th. What are some of your day-to-day responsibilities as Director of Baseball Operations?
"We are pretty busy, a lot of people do not realize how much work and planning takes place for various events. Whether it involves planning all travel arrangements for the upcoming, organizing our upcoming alumni game, or taking care of various details and itineraries involving our 2011 schedule, uniforms, or equipment, this is the busiest time of the year for everyone on staff.
What is interesting about my position is that, unlike a lot of other full-time positions on-campus, there is no off-season or quiet period. There is always something that needs to be planned, organized, or done 365 days a year. All the coaches and players on the team need to have everything outside the diamond done and ready to go once the season begins.
There have been a number of changes involving Matador Baseball that have taken place since the 2010 season concluded. What are your thoughts about the new coaching staff?
It has been pretty exciting this past summer. I think head coach Matt Curtis has this program heading in the right direction. Even though he was hired late in the summer, he has worked extremely hard from the moment he first stepped onto the campus. He brought in our two assistant coaches, Shaun Larkin and Tim Leary, and hired our volunteer assistant coach, Andy Wilson, as well.
How difficult is it to transition from one coaching staff to another?
Even though we were behind since all of the hirings took place shortly before school started, everyone involved worked tirelessly to recruit an impressive class that will begin competing for CSUN in 2012.
Coach Curtis is very meticulous with every facet of his team, I think he has some great ideas and fans of Matador baseball should be excited about the potential of this program.
As someone who has spent that last five seasons assisting the baseball program, how busy have things been during fall workouts?
What is interesting is that a lot of people think that coaches do not perform a lot of work since it is the off-season, as I said before this is the busiest time of the year. With the new staff, everyone is coming in and learning about the current players on the roster while preparing for all recruiting efforts for future classes. I think this entire coaching staff has done an excellent job. I know we may not have as strong a name with regards to recruiting right now, but in two or three years people are going to know a lot of positive things pertaining to the success of Matador baseball.
Very few people are provided the opportunity to interact with, and work alongside the new coaching staff for as long as you have since their hiring. How do you think everyone has handled this initial adjustment period?
Andy (Wilson) played here and I think he is a great addition to the staff because now outfielders have their own personal coach to help them with the proper techniques. Shaun (Larkin) also competed for CSUN as a member of the 2002 Big West Championship team and has done a great job with our hitters, and I cannot say enough positive things about the job Tim (Leary) has done with our pitching staff.
With Curtis working with our catchers, I think all of the coaches have done a great job sharing their expertise and experiences as professional baseball players with our team. Within a short amount of time, you can see the improvement this coaching staff has made with our players.
As someone who supports the program with his time, efforts, energy, and donations, what do you like the most about being the Director of Baseball Operations?
I think the camaraderie with the players is the best part of my job. They are not just superior athletes, but they are great people as well. They are going to make it in life, regardless of what opportunities they pursue once they leave campus. Whether it is baseball related or not, these student-athletes are great to work with. I can be a positive part of their life during their time at Northridge, and in turn they help me enjoy my position within the program that much more.
Now that finals week has ended, students are leaving campus to spend time with their friends, family, and loved ones during their winter break. What are your holiday plans?
Christmas is usually spent with my family back in Virginia, but this time I am going to spend the holidays up in northern California with my family. I will probably spend some time in Lake Tahoe skiing, see my brother who lives in Sacramento, and perhaps both of us will travel to San Diego to see our other brother before I return to the office.