New sheriff in town

Courtesy / Sports Information Department
Head Coach Jamie Detillion with the team

Courtesy photo

Courtesy / Sports Information Department Head Coach Jamie Detillion with the team

Brady Fredericksen

When Steve Lyon announced his retirement as Grand Valley State University’s baseball coach, the choice of his successor was a relative unknown.

The Lakers still had the entire second half of their schedule to finish out — and they were a team that had just busted out of an early-season funk.

It turns out Lyon’s replacement was there the whole time.

Assistant coach Jamie Detillion — the man credited with giving a rousing speech after a game at Saginaw Valley State University, one that senior Cory Baker said served as one of the triggers of an eventual 15-game winning streak — was named the new GVSU head coach this month.

“Grand Valley is a special place to me, in large part, for the job and leadership that President (Thomas) Haas and Athletic Director Tim Selgo provide,” Detillion said. “I’m honored and equally excited to lead our baseball team. I’ve worked hard for GVSU as an assistant and intend on continuing with the same work ethic and passion for this program.”

Detillion takes over a program that has been in good hands over the last 14 years. Lyon led the Lakers to the NCAA Division II World Series five times in that span — and had input in the selection of his successor — but for Detillion, there is no pressure in taking over for Lyon.

“I’m not looking too deep into results or pressures of the job. I’m a firm believer in enduring the day to day grind with the proper attitude and approach that will lead to desired results,” he said. “I’m very familiar to the winning expectations here at GV, but it can’t happen without enduring the proper process.”

But the speech, that motivated the Lakers back in April after Detillion’s youngest son, Crew, was born, was notable. The Lakers were floating around .500 in the GLIAC and Detillion’s speech served as a spark that fired up the team, and potentially demonstrated his readiness to take over as head coach.

“I related ‘new life’ for my son to ‘new life’ for our team and the passion and adversities that come along with,” Detillion said. “I felt good after and can’t wait to tell my son in a few years how much of an inspiration he was at birth and how important it is to pursue something you’re passionate about.”

That passion is something that Lyon thinks will help Detillion as he settles into the coaching role. Detillion has spent the last ten years coaching at GVSU, but prior to his arrival he spent time in the minor leagues.

Stints pitching for the West Michigan Whitecaps and Dayton Dragons, among others, have shown Detillion’s passion for the game.

“I think we’re all passionate as coaches in college baseball,” Lyon said. “We all have passion, and certainly Jamie does too. He enjoys coaching, he had a brief time in the pro ranks, but I’m happy that he’s found a home at the collegiate coaching level.”

That home has finally been found, and as Lyon said, Detillion has picked up on the things he needs to understand in order to be successful in this situation.

“I do embrace the challenge and appreciate when our former players come back and want to stay involved as alumni,” Detillion said. “From now, it’s doing camps and hiring staff. Once this is done, we’ll get everyone on the same page and hit the ground running.”

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