By STEVE KRAH
Taking baseball lessons he learned in the Midwest, Jared Broughton is now passing along his diamond knowledge in the South.
Broughton, who was born in and grew up in Indianapolis and played at Indianapolis Lutheran High School, Vincennes (Ind.) University and the University of Dayton (Ohio) before serving as an assistant coach at Earlham College in Richmond, Ind., is heading into his third season on the baseball coaching staff at Piedmont College in Demorest, Ga.
As the associate varsity head coach and head junior varsity coach, Broughton leads the Lions in hitting, base running and infield play and also mans the third base coach’s box while helping head coach Justin Scali and assistant Luke Harris with recruiting for the NCAA Division III program.
“These kids are very intelligent and can really process information quickly,” says Broughton, who turns 29 in September. “It’s fun to coach those guys because they are very willing learn.”
With D-III schools giving academic but no athletic scholarship money, Broughton knows his athletes are there for “a degree first and foremost and also get a first-class baseball experience as well.”
Broughton was drawn to Piedmont because it is a perennially-strong performer in D-III baseball and got a recommendation from Jeremy Sheetinger. The two coached against one another when Broughton was an assistant at Earlham and Sheetinger the head coach at Spalding University in Louisville, Ky., and worked clinics together.
“I owe a lot of how I got down here to him,” says Broughton of Sheetinger, who is now the College Division Liaison with the American Baseball Coaches Association. “It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”
Broughton’s appreciation for Scali comes from his organization, attention to detail and fundamentally-based type of play.
“We play a brand of baseball that is very sound,” says Broughton. “You dominate the routine play and do not beat yourself. That’s a hard team to play against because they just won’t give you anything.”
Scali and Broughton are scheduled to speak on base stealing and defending the running game at the Oct. 21 ABCA Barnstormers Clinic at the University of Georgia.
Piedmont is a member of the USA South Athletic Conference. The northern-most member is Berea (Ky.) College. The Lions are to open their 2019 season in early February and finish about the time the academic calendar winds down in late April.
Broughton was hired for his first coaching job about two months after his playing career ended at Dayton and spent three seasons (2014-16) at Earlham with head coach Steve Sakosits.
“He took a big risk. I had no coaching experience,” says Broughton. “I will be forever grateful to Coach Sakosits for giving me that opportunity.”
While former college pitcher Sakosits focused on Quaker arms, he allowed Broughton to jump into the fire with what he knew about hitting and base running.
“He entrusted me as a young coach to implement my own system on the offensive side,” says Broughton. “I was able to take what I learned as a player and teach that to guys who were about my age.
“It was a great way for me to learn and grow as a coach.”
While at Earlham, Broughton met Tia Seymour from nearby Lynn, Ind., and she has moved with him to Georgia.
Broughton began his baseball career at Garfield Park Little League and Franklin Township Little League in Indianapolis. At 13, he began a six-season travel baseball run with the Indiana Bulls.
At Indianapolis Lutheran, his head coach was his uncle — Dick Alter (who is married to his mother’s sister). Jared and older sisters Jennifer and Jessica spent a good deal of time with the Alters as kids.
“I learned an awful lot from him,” says Broughton. “He was a big influencing act in my baseball career ever since I was a little kid.
“He taught me not only about hitting mechanics, but also the mental side of the game.”
Jared, who lost his mother, Kristi, in 2001, also credits his father, Leon (now married to Cathleen), for helping to teach him the intricacies of the game as well as playing hard.
Broughton was all-Marion County three times as a third baseman at Lutheran before playing two seasons of junior college baseball (2009-10) at Vincennes for Trailblazers head coach Chris Barney.
“(Barney) always had a lot of confidence in me,” says Broughton, who was used at third base, first base and in left field at VU. “He taught me not to ride the roller coaster of a season and stay steady.”
An injury caused Broughton to take a medical redshirt season at Dayton before playing two seasons (2012-13) at second base for Indianapolis native and Flyers head coach Tony Vittorio.
“(Vittorio) taught us that you have to have passion, energy and enthusiasm in everything you do,” says Broughton. “I was a passionate player.
“I was a little bit of a dirtbag — in a good way. Coach V brought out the best in a lot of players we had there.”
Why did Broughton go into coaching?
Being the nephew of Alter and the grandson of Indiana Football Hall of Famer Ray Schultz, Jared grew up in a family of coaches.
Sitting out the 2011 season at Dayton also gave him a different perspective on the game.
“I felt I was a leader on the field and someone the coaches came to get a pulse of the team,” says Broughton.
For him, the transition to coaching was a natural.
Jared Broughton, an Indianapolis native, coaches third base for Piedmont College in Demorest, Ga. (Piedmont College Photo)
The Piedmont College Lions play baseball at Loudermilk Field. (Piedmont College Photo)
Jared Broughton heads into his third season on the baseball coaching staff at Piedmont College in 2018-19. He is an Indianapolis native. (Piedmont College Photo)
Two Indiana natives — Jared Broughton (left) and girlfriend Tia Seymour — have found a home in Demorest, Ga., where Broughton is associate varsity baseball head coach and junior varsity baseball head coach at Piedmont College. (Piedmont College Photo)