By STEVE KRAH
A veteran coach with a resume full of victories is now in charge of the storied Brownsburg High School baseball program.
Dan Roman, who amassed 406 wins at Lawrence Central and most recently at Carmel, is expected to be approved by the Brownsburg school board next week.
Roman, who stepped down at Carmel after the 2016 season, replaces Eric Mattingly, who resigned at the end of the 2017 season. The Bulldogs went 8-21, losing to Avon in the Class 4A Mooresville Sectional championship game.
“There was an opening at Brownsburg. They called me and I sat down for an interview. It’s a great fit,” says Roman, 51. “I look forward to the challenge of bringing back the greatness of Brownsburg baseball.”
Roman did just that for the Lawrence Central Bears and Carmel Greyhounds.
When Roman took over at LC, the program had not won a sectional since 1981 and he helped bring one to East 56th Street in Indianapolis in his second season (1998). He would help take two more (2002, 2004) in his 16-year stint.
Lawrence Central was IHSAA Class 4A state champions in 2004.
Carmel had not won a sectional since 2000 when Roman brought one in 2016 — his fourth and final season leading the Hounds.
“I look forward to doing the same kind of thing at Brownsburg,” says Roman.
The coach met with Brownsburg players and coaches Tuesday. Roman says Bulldogs athletic director Kelly Waggoner told him he will have total say in building his coaching staff.
“It’s all up in the air as of right now,” says Roman. “Decisions need to be made in the next couple weeks.”
Roman, who resides in Fishers, intends to have an elementary camp June 19-21 and Tuesday practices for high school players throughout the summer.
The workouts are open to all.
“I’m coming in with a fresh start,” says Roman. “I treat everybody the same whether they were a three-year starter or a freshman coming off of the eighth grade team. I coach them all the same.”
Roman, who played for Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famers in high school (Don Jennings at Terre Haute North Vigo) and college (Bob Warn at Indiana State University, which went to the College World Series in 1986) and a future Major League Baseball manager in the New York Yankees minor league system (Buck Showalter, who now leads the Baltimore Orioles) wants his players to have self confidence.
“That’s where is all starts,” says Roman. “You’ve got to believe you can win. It’s an attitude.
“I want to bring a mental toughness to Brownsburg. When when step on the field, we can win the ball game. When we step in the batter’s box, we can get a hit. When we step on the mound, we can throw a strike whenever we want. Those kinds of things have to be instilled in a kid’s head to be successful. When you start having negative thoughts in the game of baseball, it can permeate the whole team.”
Brownsburg has produced three players currently in the big leagues — Tucker Barnhart, Lance Lynn and Drew Storen — and many others that went on to college and pro baseball.
The Bulldogs have won 14 sectionals, five regionals and two semistates with 4A State Finals appearances in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and a state title in 2005. The most-recent sectional crown came in 2013.
Brownsburg is a member of the Hoosier Crossroads Conference (along with Avon, Fishers, Hamilton Southeastern, Noblesville, Westfield and Zionsville).
“I consider it the best baseball conference in the state,” says Roman. “I may be biased.”
Playing in three-game HCC series, the Bulldogs went 3-15 in 2017.
Roman has already gotten welcome calls from some Hoosier Crossroads coaches.
“They reached out and said kind words and told me the conference just got tougher,” says Roman.
Not only does Roman plan to emphasize toughness, but he plans to sweat the details.
“Baseball is full of little things,” says Roman. “If you teach the little things to your young men, nothing will surprise them. That’s what I’m all about. You’ve got to have your team prepared. You go over situations in practice time and time again and when you see it in the ball game, you know what to do.”
To Roman’s way of thinking, that knowledge brings confidence which brings success.
“When you expect to do well, you will do well,” says Roman.
He plans to do that in Brownsburg purple.
Dan Roman, who has 406 victories and a state championship in 20 seasons at Lawrence Central and Carmel, is the next head baseball coach at Brownsburg High School. The school board is expected to approve his hire next week.
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