The Vanguard University baseball team had a magical spring. Only once in program history – 30 years ago – had the team reached the final site of the NAIA College World Series. This team matched that mark on its way to Lewiston, Idaho. In the double elimination tournament, the Lions captured an opening game victory, but couldn’t match the success in the next two games. Rob Pegg ’97, has led the Lions for the past three years, and to a 39-22 mark this season. He shared with us what makes Vanguard, and our baseball team so great.
With so many potential occupations, why did you get into coaching?
Coaching has allowed me to continue competing while seeing players and teams improve through teaching. I’ve always enjoyed seeing people and players progress in sports and life. Coaching is a great gift when you are entrusted with great people and players.
Who have been your greatest influences?
My father, my brother, Kevin Kasper, and Jesus.
For those who aren’t fans of baseball, describe what makes it so special?
I believe baseball parallels life more than any other sport. There are so many random things that happen during the course of a game that are uncontrollable. Sometimes you prepare and do everything right and yet you fail. Other times, you do most things wrong and have success. Life is like that too. In the end we recognize it as a gift.
Can you share with us the moment you knew your guys were starting to get hot at the right time?
We played well at the end of the season, but we actually finished the regular season losing 4 of our last 5. We had a hot streak at the end of March beginning of April and put together an 11-game win streak. We felt we did enough in the regular season to make the playoffs and that was the goal. We were the second to the last team selected for the post-season and that was all we needed. Once in the post-season we felt like a resurrected team and it showed.
What made you lost proud of your guys this year?
There are so many things really. I was proud that they didn’t quit and played it out to the end with the goal of being the best they could be. Even up to the last inning in the World series, the guys battled. I was very proud of how they grew as a team and in their faith as well.
What is special about Vanguard as a community?
The Christ-centered atmosphere is everything. It is also a true community where people are pulling for you from all areas and eras. It was great to hear from so many alumni and staff during our season.
Can you share with us a bit about your Vanguard experience as a student?
I absolutely loved every aspect of being a student at Vanguard. I had never experienced a Christian atmosphere like this before. The fellow students, staff, and faculty felt like they were all behind you. It was an amazing experience that I can only thank God for.
What advice do you have for those reaching for a challenging goal?
God is bigger than any obstacle. Where we stop, God begins. Get to your end fast, so God can take over.