Today: Jun 16, 2024

Family ties: another generation of Shea joins Owls

Coach Tim Shea (left) has been with Southern for over 25 years and T.J. Shea (right) is a freshman on the team.

Darryl Hill, Staff Writer:
Tim Shea has been involved with the Southern baseball program for over 25 years, but none might be as special as the next four years since he gets to coach his son.
Shea has coached his son T.J. since he was in little league, but the opportunity to coach him at the collegiate level is an added “bonus” Shea said. With Shea’s coaching obligation here at Southern it has been hard for him to catch T.J.’s games on a consistent basis.
“Having him (T.J.) here and winning a spot and playing, and seeing him perform and do well has just been great,” said Shea.
T.J. was an All-State selection at Notre Dame of West Haven just like his father was in his playing days, but he knew Southern was where he wanted to be.
“I chose Southern because it has a great baseball program,” said T.J. Shea, “and my dad has been my coach my whole life, and he is one of the greatest coaches I have ever played for.”
T.J. is following in his father’s footsteps as his dad also played for Southern. The skipper was named the team MVP in 1985, was Second-Team All-Conference in 1986, and led the nation in doubles per game his senior year in 1987.
“I don’t know if I want to be a coach,” said T.J. “I definitely follow in his footsteps and I look up to him a great deal. He
was a great player and I want to be just like him.”
T.J. has started in all 24 games this season and holds a .276 average while the Owls are off to their best start in school history with a 23-1 record.

Coach Shea said he has high expectations for his son, and he is tougher on him than most players. He said separating the player and son relationship can be very difficult.
“I really want him to do well,” said Shea. “For example on the bus ride home from Franklin Pierce instead of saying something to T.J., he is sitting three seats behind me and I’m texting him to hang in there and things will come.”
T.J. said it’s not bad playing for his dad even though he is harder on him than most players. Being a freshman on the team and the coach’s son, T.J. said he does take a little bit of criticism from his teammates.
“Yeah they rag on me a little bit,” said T.J. “Whenever I strike out they say daddy take the pitch away, but it’s not bad really.”
The relationship a father and son share is a very special bond, and the chance T.J. has to carry on the legacy of his father and the family name here at Southern is unique.
“Me and my dad are really close,” said T.J., and he’s been my best friend all my life. He is always there for me.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog