Bill Decker is a head coach in one of the only conferences that cancelled its 2021 season due to the pandemic. The current Harvard head coach’s influence on the game has crossed NCAA divisions and spanned decades. Before his 10-year stint at Harvard, Coach Decker helped Trinity College become a Division 3 power. In his 22 seasons with the Bantams, he became the all time winningest coach in program history.
Decker joined New England Baseball Journal podcast host Dan Guttenplan to discuss the Crimson’s lost 2021 season.
“I can only speak for myself,” Decker said. “When the whole thing went down, obviously Harvard made the decision to align with the Ivy League. You can only control what you can control. I felt that at moments I was giving players a false sense of hope. In January, I thought we were going to be back. Things got prolonged a little bit as more science came out. At the end of the day, guys made decisions on whether they wanted to come back, or take a year off, or continue their college careers remotely and graduate. There was certainly a frustration level, but again, everyone has to control what they can control. A place like ours gets second-guessed some of the time. I told my supervisor from Day 1 that I’d support whatever the college wanted to do.”
Harvard remarkably did not have a single undergraduate player on the team transfer during the lost season. Only Tommy Seidl (Alabama) and Buddy Mrowka (Northeastern) decided to switch programs — but only after graduating from Harvard in 2021.
“The closeness of that particular group helped,” Decker said. “They rallied around one another. That’s really the only thing they had. They hung together because of the bond and friendship that they’ve manufactured throughout their careers.”
Decker also talked about some of his top returning players, like 2022 MLB Draft prospects Adam Stone, Will Jacobsen and Logan Bravo. The Crimson skipper is also excited about the incoming recruiting class, which includes players who chose to honor their commitments despite the cancellation of the 2021 Ivy League season.
“I think we got ahead of the game a little bit in January of 2020,” Decker said. “We had a couple of prospect camps. Most of the guys that matriculated last week were at one of those winter camps in 2020. We followed them over the last 18 months, and they’ve looked pretty good so far.”
To listen to the entire podcast, which includes Decker’s advice for potential Harvard recruits, click here.
Check out the full episode above, and if you’re not a subscriber you can check out our plans here.
The New England Baseball Journal Podcast is sponsored by: