Mulberg transitions to D-I coaching in hopes of molding baseball squad on and off field

Bethany Blass, Sports Co-Editor

In August, Bison baseball’s head coach Scott Heather welcomed the newest addition to his coaching staff, assistant coach Nate Mulberg. The 2014 University of Rochester alumnus boasts an impressive athletic career as a four-year starter at shortstop, as well as two years of experience as an assistant coach at Franklin & Marshall College (F&M). His position with the Bison marks the beginning of Mulberg’s coveted crossing from Division III (D-III) to Division I (D-I) athletics.

The Cherry Hill, N.J. native pursued his passion for baseball at URochester, where his four years starting allowed for a standout collegiate career. Mulberg’s career proved to be continuously advancing, with his strongest season as a senior. The team captain was the sixth-toughest batter to strike out in the nation his senior year and featured a .359 hitting average. The leader also excelled off the field, graduating cum laude with a major in English and earning multiple academic selections and honors, including an induction into liberal arts and sciences honor society, Phi Beta Kappa. He continued on to earn a Master of Education in sport management from Millersville University in 2016.

Despite his interest and heavy involvement in baseball, Mulberg tested the waters in a career off the field, working in media relations, sports communication, and sports journalism. His experiences include working in media relations with the Buffalo Bills, as well as a communications/sales and marketing intern with the Rochester Red Wings, the minor league team of the Minnesota Twins. Despite the great experiences he had, he longed to be back on the field.

“I was interacting with players and coaches so much from behind the scenes that I realized how much I missed just being on the field with the guys,” Mulberg said.

With help from his coach at Rochester and unwavering dedication, he formulated a plan to get into coaching. Mulberg’s notable senior season at Rochester might have been just enough to confirm his decision to get into coaching; he didn’t want to walk away from the relationships he was able to build with his coaches and teammates.

“Being a part of the best season in school history just really meant a lot to me,” Mulberg said.

His decision to get involved in coaching came just in time for commencement, and he was quickly picked up as an assistant coach for F&M in 2014. During his two years there, Mulberg led the team to a 28-13 2015 season, making it a season with the fourth-most recorded victories in the program’s history. His responsibilities as a recruiting coordinator, overseeing the team’s community service work, and working with infielders and outfielders pushed him to learn a tremendous amount and improve his familiarity with coaching. Perhaps the most valuable takeaway Mulberg has from his time at F&M was the organizational skills necessary to be an effective and successful coach.

“I just feel like I’m prepared to handle whatever’s thrown my way, and that’s really all attributed to Coach Horning at F&M,” Mulberg said.

With the dream to be a D-I head coach in sight, Mulberg made the transition from the D-III F&M position to D-I with the Bison just a few months ago. The smooth transition to Lewisburg has proven to be the perfect stepping stone for Mulberg’s career. The University offers a comparable student body and liberal arts philosophy to F&M, so he was excited to be offered the position.

“It’s been a dream job for me to get hired here this early in my career and be able to come to this level and work with our infielders,” Mulberg said.

Mulberg spends most of his time with the Orange and Blue working with the infielders, but also organizes camps, plans fundraisers, handles administrative tasks, and helps out with the recent project of creating a baseball analytics team for the University. As the youngest coach on staff, Mulberg has been a valuable support for his players, likely offering a different perspective than the other coaches may be able to.

“It’s an interesting position because I’m not so much older than the players. Being a younger coach, that’s definitely an important position to have if you handle it the right way,” Mulberg said.

For his upcoming first season, Mulberg is focused on getting to know the team better and working to make them feel as prepared as possible when they take the field.

“My goal is that, regardless of how they perform, they can go out to the field every day and feel like there is nothing in their game that’s lacking,” Mulberg said.

One of his main objectives is to instill values in his players that allow them to be positive role models and effective leaders on campus. Mulberg believes that the visible presence student-athletes have offers them a big role to play in the campus environment.

“It’s a great opportunity for our players, and any player in the athletic program, to be a leader on campus. I think that’s even more so the case when you’re at a Division I school where athletics are very much prioritized,” Mulberg said.

He hopes to help his players enjoy their time at the University, ensuring that they have positive experiences both on and off the field.

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