AUSTIN (KXAN) — Just hours after the Yankees announced Troy Tulowitzki’s retirement, Texas announced his hiring.
The timing came off as a bit of a shock, but it was a move that had been in the works for some time — dating back to even his college days.
“I had a great experience at Long Beach State,” Tulowitzki said. “[I] always kept that in the back of my mind, saying, one day, when I was done playing, that I’d like to get back in the college game. So when I felt like that was a reality, I started doing my homework on different programs. everything kind of led me to Texas.”
Injuries forced his eventual retirement after just five games with the Yankees, which opened the door for the five-time all-star to start his coaching career.
“I thought it was the best opportunity for myself and my family,” Tulowitzki said. “I have good friends there, as well, and it’s a great university, and I’m just looking forward to teaching the kids what I’ve learned on and off the field and turn them into, not just good baseball players, but good people in general that do things the right way.”
Two of those friends he referenced could be former Longhorns in Huston Street and Drew Stubbs, two former teammates during his time with the Rockies.
While they both, obviously, ended up in the big leagues, they got there through far different routes. Tulowitzki wasn’t a highlight touted recruit while Street and Stubbs were. And so, too, are his future pupils at Texas.
“At this point in time, if you were to line up our careers, [the kids at Texas are] probably more talented … than I was,” Tulowitzki said. “I didn’t get drafted out of high school. I had to basically beg Long Beach State to take me. While I was there, I feel like I turned myself into a good player, but honestly, I felt like everything I did was through hard work and I taught myself how to get better.”
Along with getting into coaching and working at a program like Texas, Tulowitzki’s also excited to work alongside head coach David Pierce.
“First thing I know about Coach Pierce is that he’s competitive like myself,” Tulowitzki said. “He definitely wants to win, but I think, even more importantly, is what I saw right away when I did meet with him was the fact that he’s a good guy. You can just tell that with people right away. He’s genuine. he’s not in it for himself. it’s for the players. he wants the best for them. I can’t say that’s the case for everybody, but that’s something that attracted me to him right away. At the end of the day, man, it’s all about the players. We’re just trying to get them to have the best experience they possibly can have at UT. “
At a place like Texas, Tulowitzki will be working with players who were, generally, far more touted out of high school than he was.
But his message to his future pupils will about building on that talent to help get to where he was for 13 years — playing in the big leagues.