Coach Mingione’s vision for 2019 team embodied by four team captains


From left to right: Ryan Shinn, Brett Marshall, Marshall Gei, TJ Collet

Hailey Peters

To Kentucky baseball head coach Nick Mingione, being a student-athlete means being a total leader in three areas: academics, character and athletics. Those three areas are reflected in his “Student. Person. Player.” guiding principles. This year, he let his team decide who they wanted to be led by.

“We voted captains this year for the first time. We had the players pick. They could vote for as many guys as they want,” Mingione said. “We have four captains this year for the first time. T.J. Collett, Marshall Gei, Brett Marshall and Ryan Shinn were voted. It was remarkable how close the votes were.”

Under Mingione’s leadership, these four captains will be expected to pilot their teammates to success in the three areas that they are expected to be leaders in.

“Last year we had more players on the academic honor roll than any other team in the SEC,” Mingione said. “That is extremely important to me, and this season I want everyone to make that cut.”

Gei and Collett, two of the players selected to represent their teams as captains, feel ready to serve their team, their campus, and their community.

“It was cool hearing that I’m going to be a captain,” Gei, a graduate student catcher said. “I hope that I can inspire our team, who is mostly first-year players, to do the great things that UK baseball has done since [Mingione] became part of our team.”

With the dawn of the new season at an entirely new ballpark coming to Wildcat baseball, Mingione wants the Big Blue Nation to be able to enjoy the beauty of it and really build a community there. Service within the community is going to be one of the key things to build it.

“Last season we clocked in about 200 hours of community service,” Mingione said. “This year we have about 18 families of kids with cancer coming to a game, and that is all thanks to T.J. Collett.”

Collett himself took initiative to go to Kentucky’s children’s hospital to find families to come to Kentucky Proud Park for a fun time with the players at games during this season.

“We’ve actually already taken four hospital visits this fall,” Collett said about his initiative with the new players on his team. “And almost every single week on Mondays, each week guys are asking to get on… We have 18 kids scheduled to join us on SEC weekends.”

With four player-chosen captains leading the team in all aspects of Mingione’s vision, UK baseball coaches and players hope that this season will push their team to be one of the best in the country as students, people and players.