Winthrop's new head baseball coach Tom Riginos completed his first full day on the job Wednesday. He met a lot of people, shook a lot of hands and talked a lot of baseball at a press conference inside the Winthrop Coliseum.
When asked about his coaching style, he said it depends on the makeup of the team. He assured everyone his team will play at a high level; they will compete and hustle.
"It really depends on if we have some boppers or a lot of speed," Riginos said, adding, "I want to get to where we are a pitching-dominant team."
Riginos talked about assembling his coaching staff.
Hitting coach Mike McGuire agreed to stay and assistant Jeff Stanek was also asked to remain with the team. Clint Chrysler, a former player and volunteer assistant at Stetson, is expected to be named the Eagles pitching coach soon.
The last month was tough for McGuire. He was interviewed for the head coach job and then was asked to perform his usual offseason recruiting duties. He went on recruiting trips and stayed in touch with his players.
He said he went through highs and lows through the whole process.
"I couldn't help but get involved in that," McGuire said.
When the decision to hire Riginos came out Friday, McGuire sent a congratulatory text message to the new coach. Riginos responded with a phone call saying he was interested in having McGuire stay on the staff.
The two agreed to meet on Monday to talk things over. Monday came and they talked for a few hours. Riginos and McGuire had run into each other on the recruiting trail but never really got a chance to get to know each other.
They did that on Monday. Riginos asked McGuire to stay with the team.
McGuire took two days to accept. Then he stayed away from the press conference. He said Wednesday was for Riginos.
"I was comfortable with Tom before we met on Monday," McGuire said. "Me and Tom want the same thing, to get to a (NCAA) Regional. We have a Regional-caliber team. I think the talent is there. (Riginos) made it appealing to come back. It's nice to be wanted."
With that settled, McGuire is taking some vacation time. He said he owes that to his family.
At Stetson, Riginos' alma mater, baseball coach Pete Dunn couldn't be happier with Winthrop's newest hire. Dunn recruited Riginos and coached him for four years. Dunn later hired Riginos and helped him become the Hatters' top assistant.
"I certainly think he's done a great job. I knew he was going to get a head (coaching) job," Dunn said. "I know he is extremely happy about the Winthrop situation."
The Stetson connection is clear.
Chrysler was recruited by Riginos and played three seasons (1995-1997) for the Hatters. He finished his Stetson career with a .309 batting average. A left-handed pitcher, he appeared in 74 games and left Stetson with a 14-10 record and a 3.80 ERA.
It was his work on the mound that got him drafted in the 17th round by the Seattle Mariners. He played nine years of professional baseball with Seattle (1997-1999) and Pittsburgh (2000-2004) reaching the Triple-A level in the Pirates organization (Nashville Sounds).
Chrysler just completed his second season as a volunteer assistant at Stetson. He returned to his alma mater to finish his degree.
Riginos declined to comment on Chrysler until he is officially hired at Winthrop. Chrysler did not return The Herald's phone calls on Thursday.
This weekend will be about house hunting for Riginos.
Tom and his wife, Shalleen, were learning about Rock Hill's schools. The couple's 9-year-old twin daughters, Alexandra and Grace, will start at a new elementary school on Aug. 18.