For some kids, leaving for college means less time with family, but for Oklahoma State shortstop Donnie Walton, college means more time with his.
Walton's dad, Rob, is OSU's pitching coach. "Growing up, being around the field all the time, I don't think there could be a better childhood,” said Donnie. “Now, I get to share moments with my pops. Especially, he gets to see me now like he didn't get to when I was younger."
Rob also looks forward to sharing those moments and seeing his son more. "Early on when I was coaching, I didn't get to see him very much. It's kind of fun to be around him. He's got a great personality; I think he gets it from his mom, for sure. He's always smiling; he has a good time. He really enjoys competing and being on the field."
The father-son duo plays a key factor in OSU's success. Donnie went nine for 16 and drove in five runs in the Big 12 tournament, while Rob's pitchers are in the top ten nationally in ERA."
"Lot of young coaches want to hear themselves talk all the time. Through too many trials and errors, the athlete gets confused,” explained OSU head coach Josh Holliday. “Rob will observe, watch, and think, and then when he comes to one of our kids with a suggestion it's after a lot of thought."
Rob asks himself one question before he addresses a player. "Anytime you're getting ready to coach somebody or say something to a player, just ask yourself one question: ‘If it was your kid, what would you do?' that's how I approached it the whole time. Now that Donnie's on here, I feel like it's the same."
Donnie respects his dad as a coach. "He's pretty good at what he does, so when he talks I listen."
Listen in Stillwater this weekend, and you'll likely hear the Walton family drawing plenty of cheers.