If baseball teams really do take on the identity of their head coach, then Lanny Williams expects Cedar Park to be a fiery and fast team next season.
After spending more than two decades at Brenham, including seven as head coach, Williams was Introduced as head coach at Cedar Park last week. He takes over for Kris Gawriluk, who spent three years in charge of the Timberwolves.
“It’s something different, it’s a challenge,” Williams said. “Even though (Leander ISD) is a big district, it really felt like Cedar Park was a home-field when it came to the community in itself. That was really exciting.”
Williams spent 23 years as a coach at Brenham and had a 159-80-2 record with the Cubs over the last seven seasons. His teams won three district titles and advanced to the regional finals in 2017.
The Cubs missed out on the playoffs last season for the first time in 36 years.
Cedar Park made the playoffs in all three seasons under Gawriluk, advancing to the regional quarterfinals in 2017.
“There are some guys that I’m very excited about,” Williams said. “Some guys swung the bats really well and ran the bases really well. I haven’t been able to see much pitching yet. As far as swinging the bats, I like what I see.”
Williams said his ideal team is one that is aggressive on the bases but added he’s not going to force the issue if the roster doesn’t fit that style of play. The Timberwolves’ baseball team is littered with guys that also play football, so athleticism and toughness shouldn’t be an issue.
“I love guys that can run,” Williams said. “I think in the game of baseball, speed can hurt a lot of teams. My ideal team has a bunch of guys that can put pressure on the defense with their speed.”
Williams admits he’s a very passionate guy that doesn’t like to lose but expects his first season in Cedar Park to be an entertaining one.
“If my expectations for them exceed their expectations, that’s not good,” Williams said. “Their expectations have got to be higher, whatever that is. But I want the guys to buy in because when they do that, I can kind of hold them accountable to what they said they wanted.”