Brohawn recalls journey to the NCAA World Series


SALISBURY — Eastern Shore native Troy Brohawn ’09 grew up 30 minutes from Salisbury University, but his journey to being its head baseball coach was a journey that took thousands of miles.
A proud graduate of Cambridge-South Dorchester High School, Brohawn first got noticed when he participated in the junior national Olympic festival. He made the team and a whole new world of recruiting opened up.
He signed with Nebraska on the pretense that he would be able to play outfield and not pitch for the Cornhuskers.

His sophomore year, an injury-plagued season caused his coach to ask Brohawn to pitch for the good of the team. It came as no surprise to anyone who knows Brohawn that he pitched a complete game with 18 punchouts versus Clemson
during his first game on the mound.
Fast-forward two years and Brohawn was drafted in the fourth round by the Giants. He was then traded to the Diamondbacks, where he performed well as a starter until he blew out his elbow and received the famous Tommy John surgery.
When he came back 18 months later, he was now a reliever, winning a World Series ring in 2001.

In 2006, after his professional baseball career was over, his journey to attending and coaching at SU started to take shape.
Former Cambridge-South Dorchester High School football coach and then current baseball coach Doug Fleetwood ’73 asked Brohawn to come to an SU practice to help their pitchers. At this time, he had no idea that SU had a varsity baseball team.
Brohawn thought he was going to help a club team or some sort of camp when he came to his first practice. To his amazement, SU had a real NCAA team that was talented and hardworking.

That same year, he started taking classes at SU to finish the degree he started at Nebraska. In his first professional contract, his mom made sure the Giants would pay for him to finish his degree and they did.
While a student, Brohawn was the pitching coach from 2006-2009 alongside longtime assistant Dr. Ron Siers ’89. That education line in his contract his mother insisted on set the stage for the opportunity to coach 30 minutes from where he grew up.

After a stint as the head baseball coach at Cambridge-South Dorchester high school, in July 2014 Brohawn was named Salisbury’s head baseball coach, succeeding Fleetwood with the everfaithful Siers still on staff.
Brohawn’s seventh year as head coach was unlike any other due to COVID-19. The added stress of wearing masks,
weekly tests and the loss of 15 games tested the players and coaches like never before.
When the Sea Gulls raised the National Championship trophy for the first time this spring, emotions spilled out
from everyone.

“I look back in gratitude to all coaches who came before us, like Dean Deshon who started the program, as well as
all the alumni who helped us win this championship. I am a firm believer that you don’t have to play to have a part in winning, and that is certainly the case this year,” Brohawn said, who was named 2021 NCAA Division III Coach of the Year.
“The support we have received from our administration, alumni, parents, our athletic trainer Mary Tovornik ’97 and

other support staff has been tremendous. When I got back to the hotel room the night we won, I had 174 text messages waiting for me. That support is what is special about our Salisbury baseball family.”
Nestor’s Team

There are many words you can use to describe the Salisbury University women’s lacrosse team. Talented, determined,
tough and hardworking are a few of the words that describe the team that brought home the 2021 National Championship.
These are also the same words that can be used to describe their head coach, Jim Nestor ’90. A four-year member of the SU men’s lacrosse team, Nestor played for three different coaches: Joe Rotellini, Ron Roberts and Jim Berkman M’84. He also wrestled for Coach Ron Otto.

One theme that he carries with him to this day that he learned in high school and during his time as a student-athlete at Salisbury is that hard work pays off. Nestor took that work ethic to Frostburg State University, where as a graduate assistant he helped the women’s lacrosse program win the Maryland State Championship and make the NCAA tournament.

From there, he had stops at Colby-Sawyer College and Layfette University. Then in 1995, he moved on to Gannon
University to take over the women’s soccer program and start their women’s lacrosse program.
At Gannon, he was named the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association NCAA Division II Coach of the Year in 1996 and the College Division II Coach of the Year in 2000. Gannon honored his service in 2018 by inducting him into their athletics hall of fame.
Entering his 19th year at the helm of the women’s lacrosse program, Nestor knows that every year is different with its own set of obstacles and circumstances.

The grit and work ethic that are hallmarks of Nestor-coached teams was put to the test during the 2021 season. Uncertainty, distractions and everchanging rules for how players were to conduct themselves on and off the field
would test the resolve of the women’s lacrosse team.
“The mental toughness that we exhibited this year was a big reason for our overall success. I continue to
be impressed with how focused our players and coaches were throughout the season,” Nestor said. “This was a
year where having a seasoned staff who played at SU and knew our expectations of how to come to play every day were
key components to preparing our players for success.”

That success started with their first game in February and lasted until the National Championship game in May,
bringing home their fourth National Championship and second undefeated season in program history.
Success for Nestor goes beyond winning national championships. As an alumnus and one who bleeds maroon and gold, the reputation of the University and lacrosse program means everything, encompassing the current players and alumni who have upheld their standards on the field and in the classroom.

Jayme Block, ’97, M’99, is Assistant Vice President of Alumni Engagement and Development for Salisbury University.