NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – Former Gamecock center fielder Jon Coutlangus was a big league pitcher just a few seasons ago, but now his baseball career is continuing at Charleston Southern off the mound and in the dugout.
Coutlangus' story back to college baseball begins with his own journey at the University of South Carolina to finish his college education.
"Going back to college as a 32-year-old, it wasn't easy. I spent my whole career trying to flush the game before, and now I'm trying to remember everything from the night before," he said.
With a degree in hand, Coutlangus headed to Charleston Southern to coach baseball for his old coach at Carolina, Stuart Lake.
"He might be the only utility coach in America. You come to one of our practices and he's working with hitters, he's working with outfielders, he's working with pitchers," said Lake.
"Ever since I was little this was a game to me. I love taking what I learned as a professional athlete to help guys get to that level," said Coutlangus.
Coutlangus says at a certain point, he lost the passion for the game as a player. But at CSU, he's regained that passion as an assistant coach for the Bucs.
"Ever since I was little, this was a game to me. I love taking what I learned as a professional athlete to help guys get to that level," he said.
And he's already found a place with the team.
"I have to literally call his name to know which one he is. He fits in so much with our players," he said.
From Columbia, to Omaha, to Cincinnati, back to Charleston, Coutlangus has his sights set on helping as many Buccaneers make it to the MLB as possible.
"They're constantly asking, like all baseball players, ‘How do I get to the big leagues?' and ‘What happens when I get to the big leagues?'" Lake said. "Those questions are still asked, even since he's been here since August. He brings to them some confidence too, if he tells you you're doing it pretty good, you're doing it pretty good."
And CSU is hoping that confidence will take them on their own long trip come summer.