MASON CITY, Iowa – It’s official. NIACC baseball coach Travis Hergert had a wish that has become reality. The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind for him as he has received his call up to the big leagues where he will be the Assistant Pitching Coordinator for the Philadelphia Phillies.
“I never once pursued professional baseball in any form,” Hergert said. “I think more of it was just the awareness and attention that our program had gotten over the years and how we went about our player development.”
After joining the NIACC baseball coaching staff 15 years ago as an assistant and taking over as head coach seven years ago, another chapter in Hergert’s life has come to an end.
Several months of discussion and a series of phone interviews amount to this…the Phillies calling him in for an interview last Thursday. By Friday he had an offer.
“I don’t know if coaching professionally was ever a dream,” he said. “It was always kind of maybe a wish but I think over the last few years, you’re seeing a lot of college coaches and high school coaches being moved into the professional ranks. So, I think it became somewhat of a reality.”
In his new position with the Phillies, he will do much of the same as what he did during his time at NIACC.
“I’ll be scouting our own prospects, scouting them and meeting with our coaches and making sure that the plan that our farm director has for us is executed.”
Hergert established a tradition of excellent baseball at this small-town community college. During his tenure, he won 260 games, coached three All-Americans, and had eight MLB draft picks. There’s no doubt about it – NIACC holds a special place in his heart which made it difficult to address the players this past Tuesday.
“That will go down as the hardest day of my life but that group has been so resilient and there’s a good plan in place for them that will be out soon, but they’re going to be just fine.”
At least for the time being, he and his family can stay put in the River City. It will just mean a little extra travel time for him. However, he appreciates what this tightknit community has done for him over the years.
“I’m just really appreciative of everyone and the relationships from players, to media, to administration. I’m just really thankful that North Iowa and NIACC is what shaped me as a coach and as a person and I’m forever grateful.”
Drew Sannes was announced as the NIACC Interim coach on Thursday afternoon.