June 05, 2020
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Former UMaine baseball coach writes book about leadership skills

Ciara Ocasio | Stetson Universi
Ciara Ocasio | Stetson Universi
Former University of Maine baseball head coach Steve Trimper is the author of a new book called "Walk Off Winning." He is now the coach at Stetson University.

Steve Trimper has an extensive and impressive resume as a baseball coach including 11 seasons as the head coach at the University of Maine.

Now the fourth-year head coach at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, has added author to his list of accomplishments.

But Trimper insists his book “Walk Off Winning” isn’t a sports book, although his career as a baseball coach and player certainly influenced it.

It is about the importance of establishing core values and a strong leadership foundation which supplies the groundwork for success in the business world, in athletics and in everyday life.

Among the 19 chapters are one each featuring late Maine business giants and philanthropists Harold Alfond and Larry Mahaney, who were also big-time financial backers of UMaine athletic programs.

Mahaney Diamond, the university’s lighted artificial turf baseball field, and the Mahaney Dome indoor multisport facility are named after the former Webber Energy Fuels chairman of the board and CEO.

UMaine’s hockey and football teams play at Alfond Arena and Alfond Stadium, respectively. Both are named after the former founder of the Dexter Shoe Company.

“The book has very little to do with baseball,” said Trimper. “Each chapter shares a story of a value I picked up through my experiences with some baseball people but, mostly, non-baseball people and the impact they had on my life.”

The path that led to Trimper becoming an author began early in his UMaine coaching career. He was invited by John Reed, the president and CEO at the Maine Savings Federal Credit Union, to speak at their leadership summit.

“I was excited but I wondered if I was out of my element,” Trimper said.

But he was a hit and it led to numerous other speaking engagements around the state.

Trimper said he has read countless sports books over the years trying to improve himself as a coach and leader. But after getting to know successful businessmen like Mahaney, Alfond and Herb Sargent of the Sargent Corporation in Old Town, the New Jersey native realized that he could learn even more from them about leadership and building a positive culture and work environment.

Courtesy of Steve Trimper
Courtesy of Steve Trimper
Former University of Maine baseball head coach Steve Trimper has written a book called "Walk Off Winning." It provides coaches and leaders with a game plan for success.

He learned that those effective leaders learned by evaluating their business failures as well as their successes.

“The strong cultures developed by [winning] teams and successful businesses are very similar,” Trimper said.

He began taking notes regularly, including using those long baseball bus trips to jot down his observations.

Trimper eventually reached out to best-selling author and speaker Jon Gordon, who wrote the 2015 best-seller “The Energy Bus,” which talks about leadership, culture, sales and teamwork.

Trimper and Gordon hit it off and Gordon has been a constant source of encouragement in Trimper’s writing.

“He told me I had an audience and to keep taking notes,” Trimper said.

Another positive influence was first-year Stetson men’s basketball coach Donnie Jones, who is a longtime friend of Gordon.

Trimper eventually signed a multi-book deal with Wiley Publishing in Hoboken, New Jersey, the publisher for Gordon’s book. That was in June and he had an Aug. 15 deadline for his first book.

“I would set my alarm for 4:30 a.m. and I would have two cups of coffee. I would write until 9 a.m. and then go to work,” Trimper said.

Thanks to the work put in by editor Vicki Adang, the book came to fruition.

“I’m hoping to give the reader the ability to see how they can apply this to their own personal lives,” said the 49-year-old Trimper.

He noted the importance of the little things in life that can create a positive vibe: like a boss attending one of his employees’ children’s sporting events.

Trimper is ecstatic with how the book turned out and the response to it so far.

He will be in Bangor this weekend and will do a book signing from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday at The Briar Patch, 27 Central Street, in Bangor.

Trimper and wife Lisa will also watch twin daughters Morgan and Ally, who are freshmen, play for the UMaine women’s hockey team at 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Alfond Arena in Orono against Merrimack College.

“I owe a lot of my career success to the University of Maine, the state of Maine and the people of Maine,” Trimper said. “This book is a tribute to them.”

Trimper compiled a 309-292-2 record in 11 seasons at UMaine and led the Black Bears to two America East championships and NCAA Tournament appearances.

The Eastern Connecticut State University graduate and former Manhattan College head coach has compiled a 102-75 record at Stetson and he led his 2018 team to its first-ever NCAA Regional championship. The Hatters went 48-13 to tie the school record for wins in a season.

 


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