Kyle Hallock used to fly fastballs past hitters in the MLB, and now he is coaching the Falcons to fly to new heights on the baseball field.
Hallock, who spent time with the Houston Astros following college at Kent State, was named head coach of the baseball team in June. His appointment came after the retirement of Danny Schmitz, who served as head coach of the Falcons for over 30 years.
As Hallock prepared to lead the Falcons, he almost didn’t have a team. The baseball program had been cut earlier in the spring in response to budget cuts related to the pandemic. Through support from athletic donors and baseball alumni, the program was reinstated.
“Once we got the team back it was full steam ahead,” Hallock said.
Hallock said he spent many hours at Biggby Coffee on Wooster Street during the summer with associate head coach Ryan Shay making plans. “We were trying to decide who would be the best fit on this team and then doing our best to make sure the best guys are coming here,” he said.
Gage Schenk, a starting pitcher for the Falcons, said, “From the season getting cancelled, to not having a team, and now Hallock being the head coach, it really was a rollercoaster of emotions.”
Schenk said the transition from Schmitz to Hallock wasn’t a huge change for him since he had worked with Hallock for the past two years when Hallock was the pitching coach under Schmitz. Hallock still works with the pitchers at practice like usual.
“Everything he does is trying to get me to be the baseball player and person that I am, and he is always trying to steer me in the right direction,” Schenk said.
Hallock said he would need to get used to the amount of resources available at BGSU. He started off his coaching career as a pitching coach at Malone University in Canton, Ohio.
“You wear a lot of hats at that level by doing the strength and conditioning, the drills, warmups,” he said. “(At BGSU), you have the personnel to do that, and they do a fantastic job.”
Hallock said part of the success of a team is making sure to recruit players who feel like they are part of the program and not just a player.
“It’s about the right kids and families to see if it’s going to be a great fit,” Hallock said. “There is a scoreboard on at practice every day, so there is a winner or loser every day to motivate them competitively.”
Schenk said Hallock has been an amazing mentor.
“Obviously from the baseball aspect he has been through, so our goal of getting drafted and going to the big leagues, he has done that, and he is a great mentor for that,” Schenk said.
Hallock summed up his philosophy as “good pitching and good defense.”
According to the BGSU athletic website, as pitching coach during his first season in 2019, Hallock’s pitching staff ranked in the top five in the MAC in ERA with 5.43 and fewest hits allowed at 482. They allowed just 298 runs, which ranked second in the league.
“If we pitch well, and we can stop them defensively, then they can’t score any runs,” he said. “The really good championship teams that I am a part of have had good pitching and defense.”
Hallock said he thinks players would describe him as “fair and honest.”
“I hope that the players see me this way from where they are standing at all times and in what drills we are doing,” he added. “And hopefully, they see it as fair and direct because these are the things we need to get down for us to win.”
Schenk said Hallock is a hardworking and dedicated person and coach. “He is someone who would do anything for us,” Schenk said. “It’s just an everyday thing; he doesn’t stop. He is always texting us and checking up on us at all hours of the night making sure we’re okay and helping us succeed.”
Hallock, who is originally from Sandusky, is a father of two sons named Keegan and Klay. His favorite sport and main hobby outside of being the head coach for the Falcons is golf, although not surprising as it’s another ball he can watch fly.