BRYAN, Texas -- The 2020 college baseball season was supposed to be a special one for Nebraska head coach Will Bolt. It was his first season as the Huskers' head coach after spending the past five seasons as an assistant coach at Texas A&M. Bolt played at Nebraska and was a captain on the 2001 and 2002 teams that made it to the College World Series. He was previously a Volunteer Assistant Coach and Associate Head Coach at Nebraska.
The coronavirus pandemic ended the baseball season in mid March. Bolt and the Huskers played just 15 games. "We were able to implement kind of the start of our culture and what we were going to ask of our guys from a work habit standpoint and they poured a lot into it," said Bolt. "Really personally for me it was more disappointing that the players weren't able to see their hard work kind of come to fruition during the season."
Bolt, who is from Conroe, feels like his team made some positive strides that they can take to next year. The challenge will be building on those positives after a short season during a strange time. "I think it's just, from an individual standpoint, guys believing in that the hard work does pay off and that you play the game at a certain level everyday and just continue to show up and punch the clock that you have a chance to consistently win, and that's really kind of been our consistent message in the short time that we have been here. It's something I learned from coach Childress through the years," said Bolt
Texas A&M Head Baseball Coach Rob Childress was an assistant coach at Nebraska during Bolt's four years as a player. When Childress left Nebraska for Texas A&M in 2006, Bolt joined the Aggie staff as a Volunteer Assistant Coach for two seasons. He would make stops at Texarkana College and Nebraska before coming back to A&M as an Assistant Coach in in 2015. Bolt says he is still close with Childress and Aggie Assistant Coach Justin Seely. They are two good guys to have on your side as we deal with coronavirus challenges. "We've kind of leaned on each other with some things, especially when everything was first starting to go down as far as how are you going to handle this with your team, what are you hearing in your conference, those type of things. Those guys are lifelong friends of mine, and we find a lot more to talk about besides just baseball," said Bolt.
Canceling college baseball and putting the sports world on hold has been hard, but it has given Bolt more time with his wife and their three children. "One of the coolest pieces that I have been able to take from this is I go on a long walk with my daughter Bella everyday. We take about an hour. We just go walk through the neighborhood and that's been a cool bonding experience, so that's definitely been the silver lining in it all," said Bolt.
The 2020 season may not have been what Bolt envisioned, but it will have some special memories.