New Towson football coach Pete Shinnick talks about his Baltimore roots and path home with Nestor
towson, coach, football, baltimore, friends, play, place, colts, holidays, head coach, talking, recruiting, gig, born, towson tigers, towson university, weeks, couple, opportunity, florida
Nestor Aparicio 00:00
What about W N S, T, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive. We are celebrating this is a big week around you. I’m not doing a lot of radio this week. I’m only having some selected guests on because it’s our 31st anniversary. It’s the holidays over the next couple of weeks here today and 57 You’re gonna be hearing 31 years of some of the greatest hits as I go through them you’re gonna be finding out if Baltimore positive is not a.com but we’re gonna be getting ready for the Atlanta game. We’re going to be getting ready for the Steelers game through the holidays as well. But we got some news around here. First things first 31st anniversary we’re going to be Costas on Thursday. The holiday Castros brought to you by the Maryland lottery be giving those away as well as our friends at Goodwill and when donation 866 90 nation you buy two and you get two free and 0% financing. I don’t know how to people went there they she gave you a better deal than they gave me but it’s there take advantage of it through the holidays as well. And celebrating 31 years we’re gonna have the queen of Dundalk, Gina shock. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is going to be coming down and banging his skins with us along with some my hammer Jack’s folks and Costas folks, as well as my dear friend John Allen, riding shotgun and CO hosting with me from Child’s Play in there put Child’s play together again in for M three down at Merriweather and that’s going to be in May. We have a new football coach right here. And we always say wn, St. Towson, Baltimore, we’re one of the rare Towson radio stations here, Towson University as a new, a new head coach, and I saw the name and I said, Shinnick man, my dad walked out shinIK, you know, and sure enough, peacenik is a legacy, as they would say an animal house back here at Towson born here and back coach and football pitch and he joins us now he’s the new head coach of all things Towson Tigers football. And I’m surprised man, you got to be busy this time of year taking new gig new office, new everything, recruit like all the things going on. I appreciate you taking a little time. Welcome. I guess home? Right? I mean, you would say that right?
Pete Shinnick 01:56
Yeah, you know, it’s been it’s been a great journey. And really, throughout my life, people have always asked me, Where are you from? And you know, the first answer is, well, I was born in Baltimore. And that’s where you’re from exactly. But, but being the son of a of a football coach moving around quite a bit living in different states. It was always like, well, where I’m from is where, you know, I was born. But then where am I living now and lived in a ton of states been a lot of places. So now be able to say, Hey, I’m from Baltimore, I live here fired up to have this opportunity.
Nestor Aparicio 02:28
So if I’m sitting next to you on an airplane, and we’re just Bs and the cocktail lady comes by and we’re going to talk for what if I said to you, aren’t we from Baltimore? And I’d say, Well, tell me about your dad. Tell me about like, because this really when I think of you and I’ve never spoken you before, I think any guy your age and your to be my age that had a dad that my dad went in the 60s and was there for all the Colts action and all that and I I went to colts games in the 70s and I always tell Stan white and Bruce lair when I see him around town and that lake gray Tom Matty when I would see him that I saw those guys playing when I was a little boy. Give me your experience with datamine is the Colts fight song in your head from being a boy like it is for me, which is now the Ravens fight song by the way?
Pete Shinnick 03:10
Well, yeah. So for me, it’s really I kind of lived a little bit through my brothers as I got older, you know. So I was born here in 65. And you know, the last end of my dad’s career, most of really what I remember is through photos and ESPN football, right, because, you know, you turn on ESPN Classic and see the Colts in training camp and some sort of documentary that they’re doing and watching games.
Nestor Aparicio 03:36
Sure. Whistle in shorts on. Right, exactly.
Pete Shinnick 03:40
Same deal. And so, you know, as my brothers were a little older, you know, kind of experiencing camp and all that type of stuff. As I grew up, it was just kind of like, oh, man, what, what, what an amazing time for my dad to be a part of the Baltimore Colts and that run, and then you start learning the history. And Lenny more. Raymond Barry’s might one of my dad’s best friends, you know, Johnny Unitas and that the opportunity to be in Unitas stadium could be the coolest part of this whole process right here. So to coach in Johnny United stadium now is is an awesome opportunity. So with that, you know, it was always just a blast to, you know, you know, see all that learn all that. And that era of the Colts. I mean, just the names that we’ve mentioned, and the success that they had. It was a fantastic time. And so it has been so fun here. last 48 hours, however long I’ve been in town, to just, you know, reminisce with certain people about that and the memories of so many people of the great colts teams.
Nestor Aparicio 04:49
I guess you’re drinking from the firehose taking a new gig and you don’t have to play football for like eight or nine months. You’re good, right? Give me this transitional period for you. Because, you know, I’ve gotten to know Steve a little bit Get over there. And there’s so much change happening at Towson, right? I mean, Dr. Schatz was leaving now to go to Louisville. I know tons of people. I mean, Mike Gaffigan, and all the I lectured with Ron Snyder’s journalism class, I was on campus about three, four weeks ago, over there talking about free speech and talking about media with a journalism class. So I’m in Towson, I’m going by the campus all the time, give me your association to all of this because you’re off coaching. And by the way, your old school took your bio down, I had to go to, I had to go to Azusa Pacific University to get a full bio on you. But this transition part four, and I was born in 68. So you’re a couple years older than me, you get into this point in your 50s, you’re taking a gig, you’re moving, you hear about this, you put the resume in or whatever, give me your pathway of the last three to six months here from coaching football, to winding up with a job that maybe is a pinch me moment for you, right? Like, if six months ago, you just said you’ve been celebrating Christmas here in Baltimore, being the head coach at Towson. I think you would probably think you’ve had a hell of a year.
Pete Shinnick 06:02
Wow. Yeah, amazing time. So you know, in getting ready for 2022 season, we felt like we had a great chance to have a really good football program. And we were able to, I think, you know, maximize the guys that we had, and use them to really high level making it to the Final Four, and really playing I thought great football throughout the course of the season. So then, while that’s happening, saw that this job had open, and you know, kind of just said this a program that I’ve really followed since the national championship run the day made, as that kind of, you know, sparked my attention of oh my gosh, that’s right, where I was born. I know that area. And okay, here’s a university. So I’ve really kind of been following the University last 10 years, and just did a little bit of a deeper dive, obviously to say, Hey, this is where, you know, I’d love to have an opportunity to coach. But, you know, as the deeper dive took place, just man what the growth that’s taken place the, you know, the construction that’s happening. Just the excitement on campus, was extremely impressed with Steve, through this process, his organization, his vision for where this university, athletic department can go, you look at the new basketball arena, you look at some of the upgrades that have taken place. And I just felt like this was a great opportunity. I think the football program, we’ve got some work to do. We got some things that we need to address and get done. But you know, it’s been a whirlwind, the last two weeks to say the least, and coaching in a game, to then getting the opportunity to be be the head coach to getting on a plane meet with the players Monday night, spending a lot of time with staff and players over the course of the last couple of days doing donor calls, talking to football alumni during the press conference. And then you know, be here this morning with you,
Nestor Aparicio 08:01
West Florida. Tell me about that. You know, I’m not as familiar. And I guess a lot of folks became familiar with Towson, almost 10 years ago and Rob took him in intifadas, and Rob really built a program you built something that I think everyone took note of at one point. And I guess a decade later, it’s your job the resurrect that but tell me what you learned in West Florida, and how that relates to Towson. From a recruiting standpoint, football standpoint in West Florida, where to play Towson, how would that have looked for you with the quality of players you’re at, and obviously different place here when you’re down in Florida, they’re growing football players everywhere. Recruiting appears probably a little bit different
Pete Shinnick 08:37
nowadays, but it’s a very fertile recruiting, recruiting ground here. I mean, there, you know, almost every coach in America is coming through this area, kind of like Florida. So I think there’s a lot of really good football players. In this area. There’s a lot of really good high school football coaches as well, which produce a very quality product of, you know, teams that we’ve watched play and that we’ve seen play. You know, I think you compare, you know, what we did there, we started from scratch, built the program from the ground up, and we’re able to, you know, have some success early. I think what Rob was able to do, you know, when he took over, get the program to that place, and I think anybody who makes a run to the national championship, I think that’s a heck of a heck of a deal because that is not easy, have been in the playoffs numerous times. been blessed to make the the semi finals a handful of times, but also have had some first round exits and second round exits. So anytime you can get a team. So what Rob did, you know, back, you know, about 10 years ago was, you know, a great job. I think the biggest thing that I learned through the process is you know, each year is brand new, and each year has its own challenges. And each year has its own set of circumstances and situations that need to be met and need to be taken care of. And so we really kind of went with you know, Last year was nice but you know, this year is brand new. So we’re going into approach this year here that, you know we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ve got some, I think some some really good guys that are here we need to build on them. We need to continue to develop them need to continue to grow this program, to where I think the city and this university will be extremely proud of the product that we put out there.
Nestor Aparicio 10:23
It’s always fun to be over Johnny Unitas stadium on Saturdays in the fall sometimes on Saturday nights as well. He is the new coach of the Towson Tigers pitch and he joins us here. He’s just drinking from the fires. You know, I look up West Florida like West Florida. Is that Tampa or is that neighborhood Pensacola and I’m thinking to myself, Phil savage beat me up for years to come down to the Senior Bowl and eat some Reese’s peanut butter cups down there immobile and Spanish for fair open on one thing, you’re not going to have a task and I know, I listen. I’ve been here my whole life. I chased the girls to Taos authority. They call it the beach out there, but they’re no beach at Towson. Right? I mean, you had a pretty good gig down there. That’s golden was beautiful to build the program down there. But I don’t know that I would have been able to play any football. I would have been too busy at the beach. If I was I’d been in Fort Walton or destin every day. eating oysters probably.
Pete Shinnick 11:13
Oh, yeah. No, there’s there’s a lot of that, you know, when you recruit a guy you gotta be you gotta be careful what you’re recruiting him to as you come into play football for us. He coming to go hang out at the beach, because beaches are beautiful. That whole Panhandle is gorgeous. We loved our time in Pensacola. It is a great place. Very difficult to leave, but really felt like this opportunity would give us a great chance to, you know, build something again. And, you know, kind of start this program back to where I think our fans are alumni. You know, want it to be?
Nestor Aparicio 11:47
Well, petricola can’t be bad. Jimmy Buffett wrote songs about it. So it’s all good for you coming home and being a part of this way. When’s the last time you really spent appreciable time here? I know you have old friends here and like that. But you say where are you from? I was born in Baltimore, this this journey home for you. And when this job became available? What are the first things you’re thinking about? When I’m like, get this gagging, be on Nesta show and a couple of weeks in Towson and be calling it home? What about this really called to you and said this is the right job for you?
Pete Shinnick 12:17
Well, it’s interesting, because you know, my brothers, we started talking about it, and then it’s like, okay, you know, live, live right down the road from campus on pleasant plains drive, you know, a couple of miles from campus. So you started looking and you’re like, okay, it was that close. I was right there. That’s where I was born. We came back, I don’t know, about 1215 years ago, can’t remember when it was, came back when I was in high school, I think are right in college. So been around the area a couple times. But I’ve never really been on campus. So I was extremely impressed. And still haven’t seen the entire campus. still extremely impressed with what I see and what’s here. And it’s just been a fun journey. Like you say, drinking from a firehose, that’s about what this whole process has been. going quick, got a lot of work to do, trying to get some staff on board. So hopefully we can make some announcements of some of the first hires and continue to build this and then start the process with recruiting as to you know, where it was with the previous staff pick that up, and then kind of put our flavor and touch on that thing as we continue to evaluate gets,
Nestor Aparicio 13:31
man your Buffalo’s got a new coach to right around the same time you came aboard, right? I had Chad Brown, Chad and I are very close. I had him on a couple of weeks ago, we played the Broncos, I don’t want to show and Dion hadn’t taken the gig there yet. But I just must say, I can’t have a guy on without saying I’ve been all over the world. And I have never been anywhere where I drove into a town and it was a little Mork and Mindy moment right with Boulder, Colorado, where you pull up I think the House is there too. But you pull into town and I’m thinking when we drove in, I said to my wife, I said, How in the world are we gonna leave this place? Boulder Colorado is this beautiful place? I can’t imagine how beautiful it must have been back in the 80s when you were playing ball there.
Pete Shinnick 14:09
Oh, it’s gorgeous place. It was unbelievable. I mean my my dorm room if you looked out the window, I mean you could see the flat irons and you know snow no snow. I mean just a gorgeous setting. I think Folsom field you sit on the side facing the flat irons. That’s that’s as good a view as there is in college football. That’s a very unique setting. It’s it’s gorgeous.
Nestor Aparicio 14:34
You’ve coached everywhere man. Yeah, this has been quite a journey for you. Welcome welcome home I should say and we’ll be supporting you guys and putting the tiger head on and and talking about games and talking about recruits and all that so for you next couple months what what is the life of coach when you settle in here in a new gig? Obviously just getting to know your own people, right?
Pete Shinnick 14:53
Yeah, that’s really it’s spent a lot of time have you know, at a team meeting had a senior meeting, met with each person issue group yesterday, I got some individual meetings with some players in just trying to connect with them, I really want them to know that, you know, I’m here for them and the staff that I bring in will be here for them, doing everything that we can to make this a great experience for them, trying to learn, you know how the process works here, the system here, what’s available for our players, how we can make the most of that, and then getting set up finishing up staff, getting some guys hired, doing that process. And then really, you know, we will spend obviously, a tremendous amount of time recruiting. But at the same time, I want to make sure that the guys here know that we’re here for them. So as we get coaches in have the opportunity for them to connect, have the opportunity for them to, you know, know who’s going to be coaching them. I really want they’re taking finals right now. I really want our guys before they go home, to understand that, you know, we’re here for them, and we got a great plan for them.
Nestor Aparicio 15:58
All right. Well, I got a great plan for you. It’s a Berea case study at Nacho Mama’s right there. You can see the old co LTS it’s so yeah, we’ve been to Nacho mom is fantastic. It’s a little bit of a history tour. I’ve even got the little Abbas a dummy that sits in the corner there right behind the ROM right behind the vaca where he belongs behind the bar. But he’ll come on over and what we’ll enjoy and certainly I was out with my wife. In October, September, Towson was playing Morgan. And we literally were just out watching a football game and a baseball game. We’re playing that night. We’re in the race this year. And we’re to sit at the bar and all of a sudden the hall Towson pep squad came in cheerleaders, Tiger pen, it’s all that kind of stuff. And I love to see the spirit around Towson, especially living in Towson and working in Towson now I’m at Towson resident for crying out loud. So I’m looking forward to get in together with you and and promote some football next season. So congratulations, put your work and hat on and go get yourself a staff and enjoy your holiday here at home home for the holidays. It’s like they wrote songs about that coach
Pete Shinnick 17:00
there ya know, hey, thank you for having me on. I’m fired up to be here. Excited to spend some time with you in the future. appreciate the support and thank you for giving me the time to be be with you.
Nestor Aparicio 17:13
I hope they get your bio up there at the Towson University website so I can read the whole thing I’d have to go to the Pacific from 2009 Coach Pete Shinnick He’s the new head coach of all things how Tigers football they’re a little ways away from playing but we’re in the season here Luke is in Owings Mills doing all things ravens getting us ready for not just Browns but also falcons and we’re gonna do a little bit of best stuff around here through the holidays so if you put me on and you hear me talking to Billy Joel or David Bowie or art Donovan or art modell or Cal Ripken or could be anyone the next couple of weeks, enjoy that and obviously very easy to find this at Baltimore positive.com celebrating 31 years we’re gonna be over Costas doing the Maryland crab cake tour final crab cake tour stop of 2022 We’re gonna be there with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Gina shock from the Go Go’s as well as John Allen our hammer Jack’s friends gonna be a big hootenanny. We had so much fun last weekend to families with Dan Rodricks, as well as Rosalyn from the lottery and my friend David Atlin. From the Baltimore Sun as well. Make sure you’re shipping those crabcakes to places like Pensacola where they can’t get them they’re a click away. Our friends if at least cost is Pappas Conrad’s all of our local sponsorship and crabcakes right now, and nothing makes the heart happier when you don’t live here. And yeah, he knows about this when you can’t get a fresh crab cake but he can now but you can ship them all week long. Get on that this week. So you get him there for Christmas Eve I am Nestor we are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. We never stop talking Baltimore. Positive