New Baseball Coach Ready for New Season


Shane Harrison was named the interim head baseball coach at Virginia Peninsula Community College in late October as the fall season was winding down. He led the Gators for just a few games, but saw enough to be optimistic heading into the spring season.

“I feel real confident with our defense and offense,” he said, adding highlights from fall ball were wins over Virginia State and The Apprentice School. “I think we’ll be fine.”

Last year, the Gators put together the first 20-win season in school history. Harrison, who was in his first year with the Gators then as an assistant, is not undaunted by trying to do it again.

“I think we’ll do better,” he said. “We have a couple of transfers coming in at the break from different schools out of the transport portal. That’s really going to help us. I’m excited.”

The season gets underway Jan. 28 with a doubleheader against Mid-Atlantic Christian University at the Virginia Baseball Academy field on La Salle Avenue in Hampton. The first game starts at 11 a.m.

He said the biggest challenge will be keeping his players healthy through a 50-game season. And it’s not an easy schedule with nonconference games against the Chowan JV team, Bryant and Stratton, and the William & Mary club team.

It’s a lot of games,” he said. “It’s a long grind for sure, a lot of bus rides, a lot of overnight stays.”

A typical season in high school baseball is 25-30 games.

Last season, Harrison’s responsibilities included coaching the outfielders and hitters. He also did a lot of recruiting, which he enjoys.

“I went to some several showcases, college combines where there would be 15 or 20 coaches at a college where hundreds of guys participate,” he said. “That’s something I enjoyed, and I’m still recruiting now. It doesn't stop.”

For next year, players from Florida and Tennessee, as well as Virginia, are showing an interest.

“We’re getting guys from all over to come here,” he said.

Harrison, 50, was born and raised in Poquoson, graduating from Poquoson High School. He’s the manager of a local glass business and is vice president of the Peninsula Co Pilots, an AAU baseball and softball organization for boys and girls ages 9-18.

He played high school and American Legion baseball, and got into coaching because his father was a coach. His first coaching job came in youth baseball at the age of 19.

“Then I went from that to middle school football for a couple years, and then went heavy into baseball,” he said.

Athletics Director Chris Moore said Harrison will be the interim for the season, and then a search for a permanent coach will begin. But Moore likes what he has seen so far from Harrison. He has a good feel for the team, a good rapport with the players, and is trusted by the rest of the coaching staff.

“When it came time to have him make the transition and find somebody to stand in the gap, Shane was an easy choice,” Moore said.

Even though Harrison was with the team last year, there are always challenges when a change is made.

“I do think Shane has already shown a great level of leadership in this transition period,” Moore said.

The Gators will play their home games at War Memorial Stadium in Hampton and Deer Park in Newport News. A friends and family day is scheduled for Feb. 19 when the Gators host Monroe College of the Bronx.

“We really want to make that a special day for everybody,” Harrison said. “Community support is big. We’re a community college, and I’m looking to build on that and get support from everybody.”

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