It’s a boot scootin’ boogie Brooks and Dunn could only dream of, but for New Mexico State head coach Brian Green, his season towing around an injured leg has been a nightmare.
“From a personal standpoint it’s been the most challenging year for me just from my availability to the program and desire to never let the guys down,” Green said.
The Aggies’ skipper initially tore his Achilles tendon early in the season demonstrating a base running drill. He had surgery and was healing nicely until the Aggies road trip to Seattle earlier this month. Green woke up one morning with a staph infection and had to have emergency surgery.
“It was devastating, thinking about the wac tournament and letting my team down and my coaches down just not being out there,” Green said.
His team, though, has had his back throughout the difficult process.
“He’s bouncing back pretty quick,” NMSU pitcher Brock Whittlesey said. “He doesn’t let him affect him and he never lets it affect us. He just keeps grinding and he’s there every step of the way.”
The injuries have also put more weight on his assistant’s shoulders and the entire staff has stepped up to give the skipper a boost.
“It’s also made us closer and the team sees that and the players see that as well, seeing the staff help out coach when need be,” Aggies pitching coach Anthony Claggett said.
Green’s toughness throughout a difficult season has been a source of inspiration for his players, who have played even harder for a man who puts it on the line for them every day.
“When you think you’re having a bad day out on the field you just look at skip and know it’s not that bad,” junior first baseman Tristan Peterson said. “He’s been going through a hard time all year for us.”
“When you see someone that’s invested in you and your future at the level Coach Green is and he’s showing you that, I think you’ll play harder,” NMSU assistant coach Terry Davis said.
“I know the guys have helped me out. It’s touching and I really appreciate it,” Green said. “Have they picked me up? They certainly have, because I haven’t pulled my weight, so I’m proud of them.”
Given how tough this year has been, Green said a return trip to the NCAA Tournament would be even sweeter if New Mexico State can pull it off. If they do, they might have to put his scooter in the Aggie Athletics Hall of Fame.