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New coaches pick up the reins

Pack your lunch: that is what head coach Matt Midkiff wants his opponents to do this season before they step on the diamond against the Eagles this season.

Midkiff is clearly bringing a new attitude to baseball at Eastern.

“No matter what the scoreboard says you will know you were in a battle from the first pitch to the last,” Midkiff said. “If you come to watch a game you will see a team of guys who work hard, love baseball and care about their teammates.”

Midkiff is a Brandon, Fla. native, where he played high school baseball. Midkiff then went to sign to play baseball at the University of South Florida before he transferred to Morehead State University in Kentucky. Not too long after arriving in Kentucky Midkiff packed his bags again to play his final college ball at Wilkes University. He was a middle infielder and pitcher.

Midkiff had the resumé to be a coach as he started coaching at Wilkes as an assistant. Midkiff then went to Texas and back to Pennsylvania with coaching stints; now he is an Eagle and is ready to help his troops soar.

“(I want) to compete in all phases,” Midkiff said. “Those phases are in the classroom, in the community and on the field: in that order.

“If our players don’t compete in everything they do then they will not compete on the diamond. Our program has the highest expectations of the people in it and we will accept nothing but excellence from them.”

Midkiff aims for excellence at his position, so since day one he has been hard at work.

“One thing about being a coach is that often the coaching part is what occupies the least of your time,” Midkiff said. “From ordering equipment to class schedules there is always something non-baseball related to do. But I wouldn’t trade that for anything. We put in so much work so we (can) earn the honor of stepping on a college baseball field 40 times a year.”

Each time the Eagles do step on the field they will have a coach with a great background to guide them. Maybe success will come early for Midkiff with a MAC Championship this season.

“Success comes in many forms,” Midkiff said. “Some will judge us by wins and losses, and I guess that is fair. I will judge our program on the things our players do in all facets of their lives and how they represent Eastern and the baseball program.”

“We’re going to win the conference championship in the next four years.”

These are the bold words of Brandon Childs, the new head coach for the men’s lacrosse team.

At age five, Childs began to play lacrosse in his home town of Baltimore, Md. He continued to play through his childhood and into his collegiate career at Lynchburg.

Childs was recognized as an All-American twice during his four years at Lynchburg, was captain twice and earned Scholar All-American from the USILA in his senior year.

After graduating in 2004, Childs took a job as an assistant coach at his alma mater, working towards his Masters in Educational leadership at the same time.

In 2005, he earned a full-time assistant coach position at Dickinson College as Offensive Coordinator. Over the next three years, the Red Devils went 27-16 in the Centennial Conference, thanks to Childs.

In 2008, Childs came to Eastern. He was given the job of head coach of men’s lacrosse, along with a position as an admissions counselor.

Childs is happy to be at Eastern. It was not far into Childs’ college career that he learned that he wanted to be a coach. For him, to be a coach is to work towards a goal and try to create the same experience he had as a player for his team.

As for why he chose Eastern, Childs said, “I wanted to be able to coach a group of guys with a Scripture worldview.”

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