PSU coaches Little League fans

Penn State men’s volleyball coach Mark Pavlik has never been to the Little League World Series, but he wishes his players could approach games the way kids do every August in South Williamsport.

“I talk to my team all the time, when they’re on the court I want the unbridled passion of a 12-year old,” said Pavlik before lunch Tuesday during the PSU coaches caravan stop at Penn College. “Some of them are more mature and look at me, and others aren’t even at the 12-year old stage yet.”

Pavlik, who won the 2008 NCAA title and owns a 437-126 record in 19 seasons at Penn State, said he’s a huge baseball fan.

“That’s the beauty of the Little League World Series to me, kids playing because they love to play,” said Pavlik. “They made it to this stage and it doesn’t faze them. Let’s not forfeit our inner 12-year old.”

Women’s field hockey coach Char Morett said she has visited Lamade Stadium several times, including the day President George W. Bush came in 2001. Morett, who ranks fourth all-time in NCAA history with 427 wins in 29 seasons, also recalled that as the year of local heartbreak when the State College team lost in the regional final to the Bronx team later disqualified because star pitcher Danny Almonte was 14. But, Morett remained a fan.

“I watch both teams before the game, dancing in the infield, and I wonder why we can’t do that,” said Morett. “We’re too worried about doing our best in our games to beat them, but I’ve been there when they’re sliding down the hill on cardboard. It’s a great atmosphere and I’m proud it’s in the state of Pennsylvania.

Football coach Bill O’Brien said his 8-year old son Michael wants to visit. His son plays for a “great coach” and that baseball is the boy’s favorite sport. But the one-hour trip for baseball from State College to Williamsport is difficult during preseason football practice, so someone else may have to drive.

“His mom promised,” said O’Brien.