Trey’s Way: Quinnipiac’s newest baseball coach makes his return to the dugout

The last time Trey Stover manned the dugout at the Quinnipiac baseball field, the team made a run to the MAAC Championship. Now, four years later, the team has seen three consecutive sub-.500 seasons and significant turnover both in roster and coaching staff. This season, Stover is back, and he’s ready to return the Bobcats to their former glory.

But Stover said his main goal at Quinnipiac is to help get rid of distractions and create a program that’s “surrounded by good people.”

Before accepting the job offer with the Bobcats, Stover was working as an assistant coach at Coastal Carolina, which only furthered his love for the game.

“Baseball has been my life growing up,” Stover said. “I fell in love with it because my parents loved the game, my uncle was a high school baseball coach, so I’ve been playing all throughout (my life).”

His experiences growing up helped expand his baseball passion, which allowed him to play at Hartford from 2012-2015. That was where he met current Quinnipiac head coach John Delaney.

Delaney was Stover’s head coach at Hartford, which led to his first coaching position under Delaney in 2018 at Quinnipiac. They kept in touch and would create a relationship, bringing him back to Hamden.

“I lost the touch of why I got into this,” Stover said. “Like I didn’t have as much interaction with the student-athletes.”

One of Stover’s goals is to create an environment where student-athletes will work hard and become good people. At Coastal Carolina, he enjoyed his behind-the-scenes experience as the director of operations, but he always wanted to have an on-field coaching role and help mold players. With his past work at Quinnipiac and his special connection with Delaney, he knew coming back was the right choice.

“This was my first coaching gig,” Stover said. “So coming back to work for him and being in a higher role was something I wanted to do.”

It wasn’t just baseball that drew Stover back to Quinnipiac. Another reason for coming back was because of the heavy emphasis on academics and community. Stover feels that people “grow and care more about not just you, but the people around you.” He wants to not just create a winning team

, but also help “young boys (turn) into men through baseball.”

This is part of what brought Stover to return when he received a phone call from Delaney this past summer.

“It’s great to have Trey back on staff, he’s very familiar with the program and will be able to help our club progress right away,” Delaney wrote in a press release on Sept. 14. “He will be a great resource for our positional players with his versatility to work with multiple positions on the field and ability to help grow our hitting philosophy.”

Stover plans to utilize his vast coaching experiences to help mold this new edition of Quinnipiac baseball. Throughout his time in three separate coaching stops, he has learned what makes a baseball team successful, not just on the field, but off of it.

“I would say, everywhere I’ve been, I’ve found what works, what people care about, and then also what doesn’t work, which is the fluff,” Stover said. “What we need to care about more and knowing what we need to push more to our student-athletes to get back to those pictures up there on the wall.”

His goal for the season is to focus more on working with the team to create a stronger program. Stover believes that Quinnipiac baseball started to care too much about these past problems, which in Stover’s mind, explains the Bobcats’ recent struggles. By eliminating this fluff, Stover thinks this team can return back to their 2018 selves, when the Bobcats were ranked No. 2 in the MAAC during his time as a volunteer coach, and went on to win the MAAC Championship the following year.

Along with his coaching experiences, Stover also had a playing career spanning three countries, including Germany and Australia and being drafted by the Kansas City Royals back in 2015. While the professional experience was interesting and fun, the important lesson he learned from playing overseas was the importance of doing the little things right.

“Everyday somebody is looking at you,” Stover said. “They look at every little thing you do.”

By going overseas, Stover learned the importance of acting professionally and the value of image, something he still tries to pass on to his players.

“We’re in the 1 to 5 percent of people that play at a really high level,” Stover said. “You make it to the next level and you’re even at a lower percentage. It’s the way people look at you is going to be different. Everything you do, make sure you’re doing it with good intent and a very high level.”

Along with teaching players how to be better both on and off the diamond, Stover has also set high expectations for the team’s performance.

“I never want to go into a season expecting average,” Stover said. “I feel like if you ever do that (and) hope to be surprised, you are never going to get surprised.”

Stover said he wants the team to aim to win the MAAC and make the NCAA Regionals year in and year out, and by aiming high, the Bobcats are more likely to make the jump to that level. And whether the players like it or not, they will be held accountable.

“If there’s reps that I see that aren’t going to get us to that level, you’re going to hear about it.” Stover said.

His other goal is to have the offense create in-game chaos.

“If you have to worry about one dimension as an opposing team, and you shut that down, you dominate the other team because they can’t do anything else,” Stover said.

The future of this baseball team excites Stover. He wants to continue to bring in players that are willing to work hard and do what they can to win games. The players on the team don’t need to have the “shiny stuff,” Stover said. “They just need hard workers.”

Stover knows hard workers when he sees one. After all, he is one of them.