BY JAMIR WILSON
Troy Brohawn checks off all of the boxes for what you want in a head coach.
He was born and raised in the area, had a lengthy professional career and has had previous success as a coach.
“I’m an Eastern Shore boy, who grew up here close to Salisbury University, a lot of (family) ties and someone who’s very happy to be the head coach of Salisbury University,” Brohawn said.
Growing up in Cambridge, Maryland, Brohawn feels he was tailor made to take the helm at Salisbury and lead the Sea Gulls to new heights.
After a successful high school baseball career, he had the chance to play Division I baseball at LSU, before his love for his home changed his mind.
“I was verbally committed to LSU, and I’m a huge college football fan, and with one visit left, Nebraska called me and brought me out there. I fell in love with the school, and it reminded me a lot of Cambridge,” Brohawn said. “It is a big city, but has a small city feeling. The people will wave at you when you’re walking down the street.”
Brohawn had an accomplished collegiate career while playing for the Cornhuskers. He was named a first-team All-American and set the school record (at the time) for strikeouts with 123 in 111 innings pitched in the 1993 season.
Originally playing in the outfield, it was the switch to the mound that would end up shaping Brohawn’s career for years to come.
“I went there as an outfielder and ended up pitching my sophomore year which got me to where I played in the big leagues,” Brohawn said. “I loved my time there and wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
After college, Brohawn knew it was time to take his game to the next level and ultimately declared for the Major League Baseball draft.
The dream so many young baseball players have would become a reality as Brohawn was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the fourth round of the 1994 draft.
“It was very interesting, my head coach told me at the end of the season he’d talked to a few scouts that thought I would get drafted somewhere between the second and fifth round, which was great as a baseball player you want to be in the top ten rounds,” Brohawn said. “I was back home in Cambridge, and I was very nervous. I think I cut the grass to pass time, I used to have long hair and I went in there and shaved my hair bald just to pass the time.”
Like many drafted players, Brohawn would begin his career with a minor league associated with a particular MLB team. He was instantly placed in the High A league in San Jose, California and started training.
He then played double-A ball in Shreveport, Louisiana for two years, and spent one year with the San Francisco Giants’ Triple-A team before being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.
Whether it was a 12-hour bus ride, or coming home from a road trip at seven in the morning just to be back at the field six hours later for the next game, Brohawn was committed to continuing his journey.
After 11 seasons with three professional organizations, the Cambridge native finally received the call he had waited years for – he was going to the big leagues.
“My coach called me in, handed me an unlit cigar and he tells me I got the call to go to the big leagues.” Brohawn said. “I called my parents, cried… all the work that they had put in, with the sacrifices made growing up for me getting to that point. It was very emotional and very exciting at the same time.”
While playing for the Diamondbacks, Brohawn had the honor to play with two hall of fame pitchers, Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. His shining moment in the major leagues came against the New York Yankees in the World Series. Brohawn’s pitching helped Arizona capture the franchise’s one and only championship.
After suffering a career ending shoulder injury, Brohawn knew that coaching was something we wanted to transition to as his new career path.
Brohawn was able to be the head manager at his alma mater Cambridge High sShool for three years and won a state championship in 2013.
When the Salisbury gig became available in 2015, Brohawn was quick to take advantage of the opportunity.
After a World Series appearance in his first season as the head coach, Brohawn is hungry for more and wants to make sure the school’s reputation for powerful hitting and solid pitching is maintained.
“This program doesn’t allow you to rebuild. You kind of have to retool every single year,” he said.“There’s no rebuilding phase here, so we’re not making any type of excuse, we expect the best, we expect to finish the season strong, and get into the tournament and make a run.”
As far as the future is concerned, Brohawn is focused on being the Salisbury baseball coach for as long as he can. He has called a lot of cities home during his baseball career, but he wants SU to be his last stop.
“I don’t want to go anywhere else I love it here. I love the athletic department here; all the coaches here are tremendous, providing so much support,” Brohawn said. “I don’t see myself going anywhere else.”
With his the playoffs in sight as the 2016 regular season nears an end, Brohawn will look to get his team back to the World Series – back to being the best.