COACH OF THE YEAR: Roy's Travis Flint figured out secret to success

Sunday , July 02, 2017 - 5:00 AM

RYAN COMER, Standard-Examiner Staff

ROY — Travis Flint admits he had selfish motives when he took the job as head baseball coach at Roy High following the 2012 season.

He wanted to coach his son, Kru, like he helped coach his daughter McCauley when she was a player on Roy’s softball team from 2008-11. Kru just completed his senior year.

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While Flint may have been thinking of himself, the baseball program has benefited. This season, the Royals went 13-5 in Region 1 play to qualify for the 5-A state tournament. They also won a home playoff game.

Flint is the 2017 All-Area Baseball Coach of the Year.

Just like this wasn’t the first time Flint coached one of his kids, it wasn’t the first time his tutelage helped Roy win. Roy made it to the state championship round during McCauley’s sophomore, junior and senior years, twice claiming the title. 

Flint understates his impact, but his children don’t. McCauley, who didn’t allow a run in five wins during the 2009 state tournament, said he called all her pitches.

McCauley said her dad did two things that made him stand out. First, he knew how to read players, which allowed him to understand how to teach them. Second, he endears himself to players so they want to win not just for themselves, but for him.

“He is every player’s dream coach, in my opinion,” McCauley said.

Kru called his father a motivator and used the first game of Roy’s series against Fremont this season — a game Roy won in 11 innings — as an example.

“He just made sure no matter what happens in this game, make sure they respect you,” Kru said.

> Roy slugs past Fremont in 11-inning marathon

Roy’s ability to prevail in a tight game like against Fremont was a major factor in the team’s success this season. The Royals went 5-1 in region games decided by one run. Flint watched his team struggle in close games the previous year.

“We lost a lot of extra-inning games, one-run games,” Flint said of the 2016 season. “It just didn’t work.”

Flint takes responsibility for those failures and said he made changes this season with special attention to conditioning, defense and extra coaching.

“It forced me to don’t assume that they know certain things,” Flint said. “We need to communicate better as a staff and what we’re expecting from them and how we’re going to go about doing it.”

Flint said the opening game against Fremont proved to him that his team turned the corner from the previous season.

“There were a couple of chances there for us to say, ‘It’s just not our day,’” Flint said.

Flint is deciding whether he will coach at Roy next season. He acknowledges his busy schedule as full-time parks and recreation director for Roy City, and that he’d like to have time to watch Kru play at Salt Lake Community College.

He and his wife, Angie, also have an 18-month old boy.

“I know I can’t thank my wife enough because it’s not been just (work and baseball). It’s then you get home, she wants to talk and she can tell all I can think about is, ‘Why didn’t I bunt in the fifth inning? That was so dumb. Should I have taken my pitcher out after four? Who am I going to pitch tomorrow?’” Flint said.

“I know, bless her heart, she’s looking at me going, ‘He isn’t listening to a word I’m saying.’ She’s a saint.”

Contact Standard-Examiner sports reporter Ryan Comer at rcomer@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @RyanComerSe and on Facebook.

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