Skirka at third base

Dan Skirka stands along the third base line during a game in the 2019 season.

MURRAY —It’s a weird time to be a spring sports coach because right now there should be games to prepare for and practices to put on, but instead coaches have more free-time than they’ve ever had in the spring.

Murray State head baseball coach Dan Skirka is adjusting to this new normal the best way he can. Even though the season is lost, not everything about this hiatus is negative. For Skirka, this time is allowing him more opportunities to be with his family and a chance to learn and grow as a coach.

“During this time, I have been very busy,” Skirka said. “My top duty is to be the best dad I can be. This job takes us away from our family so much, so my son Keegan has really enjoyed having me home every day and night. Professionally, I’ve used this time to really dig into our program and culture. I’ve dissected everything we do and really asked myself if that’s the best way to do things. I’ve been on a lot of Zoom calls with other coaches, both from Murray State and all over the country, and I’ve presented some baseball topics to some panels including USA Baseball. I’ve also done a lot more reading than I’m accustomed to this time of year.” 

With all of the normal day-to-day in-season duties removed, Skirka has found a way to spend his time effectively, but the biggest challenge has been staying in touch with his team. There’s no face-to-face time so Skirka has gotten creative and he’s found a way that is within the rules to keep coaching his guys.

“I’ve tried really hard to stay in contact with my guys via Zoom, Facetime and text,” Skirka said. “In fact, we are starting a team book study this Sunday reading “Chop Wood Carry Water” to work on the mental side of the game.”

With all of the free-time the light reading should help fill some of the void left by no season for the baseball players.

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