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Naples Daily News (Florida)


Kids these days.

They just have too many dang toys.

Before and after Florida Gulf Coast University's baseball team went 24-3 with wins against Florida, Florida State and Miami and soared as high as ninth in the rankings, program-founding coach Dave Tollett worked hard to make sure his players' heads didn't get too big for their batting helmets.

But perhaps they did get a bit cocky.

Hard to blame them, really.

"That has come across my mind, and it's something we've thrown against the wall," Tollett said. "There's no question that when you have success and you have success like that that no other program has ever had on this campus β€” it was crazy nationally. I don't know if we were ready for it.

"If you had told me we'd be 24-3 with that schedule after losing your first game, that's not possible."

As he did then, he writes this every day on his practice schedule and also preaches it constantly: Stay grounded.

That's not been the problem of late as FGCU has since gone 7-13, including just 7-8 in Atlantic Sun play. The Eagles next host Lipscomb this weekend.

But during the red-hot start, attention was on the Eagles from all over the place, thanks mostly to social media.

"Fifteen years ago, I could say that ('stay grounded') and they would buy in," Tollett said. "But with Twitter and everything else going, it's very hard for a coach to keep players grounded.

"For someone who's not on Twitter β€” if I know the stuff that's being tweeted about what kind of season we're having and we're hosting (an NCAA regional), I can imagine what those guys see."

Different day and age, folks.

For more, check out the Eye on the Eagles blog at

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May 11, 2017


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