KUSA - Tony Gwynn, the coach, never really had to leave California to recruit players to San Diego State. This year he did.
"It would be awesome from a hitting standpoint to be coached by one of the greats," said ThunderRidge graduate Brody Westmoreland. He and teammate Ty Loptien signed letters of intent last November to play baseball at San Diego State. The expectation was to play for the hall of fame coach.
"You knew as soon as you talked to him that it was the right fit," said Loptien. "He was so positive, he played the game the right way. He kept it simple but he played hard."
The soon to be freshman are two of the many that we shocked to hear of Gwynn's passing.
"I wish I could've gotten to know him a bit more," Loptien told 9NEWS. "He had so much advice… it would have been something pretty powerful to hear from the greatest hitter of all time."
"When I was a kid growing up my dad always wanted me to be an opposite field hitter," said Westmoreland, "and there's not better person to learn about than Tony Gwynn."
They thought they would be playing under Gwynn. Instead, they will play for him.
"I want to do him justice and treat his program the right way," Westmoreland told 9NEWS.