Next to Gary Patterson, no coach in Tarrant County is linked to the rise of a program any more than Jim Schlossnagle.
In his 14th season as the head coach of the TCU baseball program, Schloss took the money that the school committed to investing and has since built a national power.
The TCU Horned Frogs baseball brand is synonymous with the other national names in the sport, complete with College World Series appearances, garish facilities and a slew of players in the Major Leagues. The evolution began when TCU decided to spend real money, and then athletic director Eric Hyman hired Schloss’.
Rather than answer a handful of questions about his team or season, Schloss’ agreed to participate in the Proust Questionnaire. This Q&A was developed by French novelist Marcel Proust, and actually can be quite fun with just about anyone.
I stole this idea from Vanity Fair’s back page, and conducted a similar interview with Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister and GM Jon Daniels.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Healthy family that just won the national championship in Omaha and is headed to the beach.
Which beach? Probably one in Florida.
Greatest fear? Disappointing someone.
Are you a pleaser? Very much so.
Trait you most deplore in yourself? I do a very a poor job of relaxing. I’m bad at it. I’m horrible. My greatest professional trait is my worst personal trait. I really like my job. It’s a lifestyle for me, but it turns into a negative for me, too.
What trait do you deplore most in others? Laziness and lack of attention to detail.
What living person do you most admire? President George W. Bush.
Your greatest extravagance? I have none. Only extravagant thing I’ve ever done was after one of our World Series trips I bought a sweet, suped-up golf cart. It’s all tricked out with TCU stuff. I drive it sometimes to work, and I use it a lot during football season.
When do you lie? Uhhh .. I try not to ... but ... come on, dude.
What do you dislike about your appearance? I’ve got a fat face.
What quality do you like most in a person? Selflessness.
Word or phrase that you most overuse? You’d have to ask a player or someone on my staff. My staff will say it’s, ‘What time are we meeting tomorrow?’
(His assistant coach, Kirk Saarloos, says Schloss uses, “What are we doing?” often).
When and where were you happiest? The birth of your children, obviously. Or when we as a family, all four of us, are together and the kids are engaged. That’s hard. They’re teenagers.
What talent would you like to have? I wish I could sing.
What do you value in friends? Loyalty.
What historical figure do you most identify with? The one I try to identify with was Tom Landry.
Greatest regret? The way I treated players when I was a young head coach. I used to personalize the performance of the players. When they screwed up it was, ‘Why are you doing this?’ I identified their worth in how they perform versus who they were. As soon as the wins and losses started going next to my name, I was an idiot. I really regret that.
What caused you to separate one from the other? When you meet with players after the season, or alumni games. They come back and they want to have a great time and what comes up? They tell stories about you. They would say things about what I said and I would say, ‘I said that to you?’ And they never, ever forget the negative. Ever. I remember coming home and telling my wife one time, ‘I can’t believe I said that to him. I’m so embarrassed.’ When you say you’re sorry to the kid they say they get it and it’s just coaching. But it bothers me that that’s what they remember.
How do you want to die? With my family healthy and happy and on a baseball field.
Favorite fictional hero? Probably a John Grisham character.
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? That I could learn to relax more. I am trying to enjoy the journey more, but it’s still all about the next game. I wish I could catch my breath and enjoy three straight World Series trips but, to me, I don’t want to disappoint anyone so it’s all about the next one.
Mac Engel: @macengelprof