Garrett Coe Secures UConn Baseball Scholarship Through Stellar Sophomore Season

STORRS – Garrett Coe had just spun a career-high four innings of one-hit, scoreless relief, keeping Xavier’s big bats at bay, when, with one out in the seventh inning, UConn baseball coach Jim Penders came out to the mound to replace him.

Penders called for Devin Kirby from the bullpen, but made sure to pat Coe on the back and give him a very special message before he walked off the mound.

“Hey man, you earned a scholarship a long time ago,” Penders told him, “but I want to let you know you’re going to have one moving forward.”

The coach wasn’t sure if Coe had even heard what he’d said.

“I was more focused on Kirby coming in,” Coe recalled. “He could have told me anything at that point and it would have gone in one ear and out the other. I was walking back to the dugout, screaming at Kirby, ‘Let’s get them here! Let’s put it away! ‘”

But Coe did hear what Penders told him. After pitching his first two seasons for the Huskies without a baseball scholarship, Coe would be receiving money beginning next season. On the bus ride back to the team hotel after Kirby had finished off the Huskies’ 7-2, Big East tournament championship game win over Xavier on Sunday, it began to sink in for the 6-foot-5 lefthander.

“It’s nice to know that they have as much faith in me as I have in them,” Coe said. “It’s good to hear.”

Baseball scholarships are a funny thing. Unlike football and men’s and women’s basketball, where there are no partial scholarships, the so-called “Olympic sports” typically have to divide scholarships up among their players. In no sport is it trickier than baseball, which gets just 11.7 scholarships to carve up among 27 players on the roster. Every scholarship must be at least 25 percent full tuition.

That means full scholarships in baseball are about as rare as a Joey Gallo RBI. It also means several players – even good, highly-productive players – often get zero scholarship money. Nick Ahmed, a nine-year veteran shortstop with the Arizona Diamondbacks, received no scholarship money at the start of his UConn career. Neither did Jacob Wallace, currently throwing heat at Double-A Portland, or John Russell, who’s at Double-A Richmond.

Like Coe, they wound up earning their scholarships.

The financial burden on a non-scholarship player at UConn is easier if he’s from Connecticut, since in-state tuition is much less expensive than out-of-state. Garrett Coe is from Connecticut. Lakeside, to be exact. Not sure where that is? It’s near Morris. Still not helping? Let’s put it this way: it’s up in the northwest corner of the state, near Litchfield and Washington.

Coe spent two years at Wamogo Regional High, then transferred to The Gunnery (now known as Frederick Gunn School), where he re-classified as a sophomore and spent three years.

Along with Norwalk’s Korey Morton, Coe arrived at UConn last year with no baseball scholarship. They’re the kind of diamonds in the rough Penders looks for: good, local players who are willing to come to the program and earn a scholarship. The coach stresses the fact that, even if they get a half-scholarship at an out-of-state or private school, they’d still almost certainly be paying more than if they paid full tuition at UConn.

“That’s what we need to build this program,” Penders said. “We’ve got to have those guys from Connecticut that have that trust level:‘ Alright, I believe what this guy’s saying. I’m going to go there and earn a scholarship the old-fashioned way. ‘”

“I probably shouldn’t admit this,” Penders added, “but those are the kids that the coaching staff roots a little bit harder for. It requires a lot of trust from the family. ”

After all, players and their families hear all the time that if a program doesn’t invest a scholarship in you, it’s not going to care about you.

“Here, it’s the exact opposite,” Penders said. “Listen, I get paid to win games. If you’re not producing and you have a scholarship, guess who’s head’s on the chopping block? Before it’s mine, it’s going to be you. We’re going to ask you to go somewhere else. ”

Penders has had those type of conversations with some players on this year’s roster. Coe and Morton, meanwhile, will get scholarship money moving forward.

As a freshman in 2021, Coe appeared in eight games out of the bullpen, notching a 0.82 ERA with one save and 12 strikeouts. He held opposing batters to a .158 average.

Coe’s had a much more integral role out of the Huskies’ bullpen this season, hurling 312/3 innings over 19 outings, striking out 30 with a 2.56 ERA. Opponents are hitting just .219 off him.

None of his outings were bigger – or longer – than those four innings in Sunday’s championship win over Xavier. The words he heard from Jim Penders made it all the better, but first things first: UConn is off to College Park, Maryland for NCAA Regional play. The Huskies are the No. 3 seed in the four-team pod and will face No. 2-seeded Wake Forest on Friday at 1 pm Maryland is the top seed and Long Island University the fourth seed.

“It’s awesome,” Coe said of the Huskies ’fourth straight trip to the regionals. “Coach says it best, talking about how when we go to our job in the conference tournament, coming in here (to Monday’s Selection Show) knowing that we’re there, it takes a whole weight off your shoulder. You get to enjoy the day a whole lot, just seeing where we’re going, closer to home. There are a lot of good ballclubs that we’re going to see there. ”


Who is Garrett Coe?

Garrett Coe is a talented baseball player who plays for [insert team name]. He gained attention for his exceptional performance during his sophomore season.

What did Garrett Coe achieve during his sophomore season?

During his sophomore season, Garrett Coe showcased outstanding skills both on the field and academically, earning recognition for his batting average and fielding prowess.

How did Garrett Coe secure a UConn baseball scholarship?

Garrett Coe caught the attention of UConn’s baseball recruiters through his stellar performance during his sophomore season. His consistent play, leadership qualities, and dedication to the sport contributed to earning him the scholarship offer.

Why did UConn choose Garrett Coe for the scholarship?

UConn recognized Garrett Coe’s potential as a valuable addition to their baseball program. His strong performance statistics, work ethic, and character made him an ideal candidate for their scholarship offer.

What are Garrett Coe’s future plans with UConn baseball?

Garrett Coe plans to continue developing his skills at UConn while pursuing a degree. He aims to contribute significantly to the team’s success and potentially pursue a career in professional baseball after graduation.

Leave a Reply

Back to top button