Following former Nebraska head coach Darin Erstad’s resignation at the end of the 2019 season, Will Bolt took the helm as Nebraska baseball’s 24th head coach. The former Husker player and associate coach brought with him a new coaching style that he has looked to implement into the program in his first year with the Huskers.
Along with years of experience, Bolt brings a structured and precise style as a head coach of the Huskers. Bolt, in contrast to Erstad, who left more up to the players and often would allow players to run much of practice, keeps a very structured and set practice schedule. That mentality and coaching style resonates from his experiences not only as a coach, but as a player as well.
“That is what I knew as a player and what I knew as a coach so I have never really changed that up,” Bolt said. “It is really about setting guys up for success beyond year two, going into the real world, that structure that we have prepares them for responsibilities and structure in everyday life.”
That structure Bolt has made an emphasis upon goes beyond regulating players’ lives on the field, as he believes it also can be applied to their lives as students on campus.
Many players have been public about how they have enjoyed Bolt’s style of coaching and how the structure has helped them keep focus as a main point of their lives, as well as create a routine that players can grow accustomed to and maintain.
Junior Aaron Palensky has praised Bolt’s style of coaching, citing how much it has helped him personally. He had to adjust to the new structure and coaching staff after spending the last three years under Erstad and his more loose approach to coaching as he allowed more player involvement in planning practices and other team-related issues.
“They [practices] haven’t changed a ton, but have been a lot more hands-on with everything being a lot more structured, but I don’t think it has been a super dramatic change with the returners we have who have made the transition smooth,” Palensky said.
For Bolt, he feels that his experience coaching at the junior college level for Texarkana College as well as his rise through the coaching ranks, has given him a wide array of experiences. Bolt was an associate coach at Nebraska before taking the assistant coaching job at Texas A&M and a return to his alma mater as the head coach has helped him prepare for where he is now.
“Any experience you have helps you in really any job you have, not that a guy who goes straight into a D-1 job isn’t prepared, but a guy who has that experience has a lot better chance to succeed,” said Bolt. “Do I think that I would have been ready seven years ago getting this job? Maybe, but I know that I am much more prepared now for the challenge of it.”