When Chris Coste stepped to the plate against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 26, 2006, he made his major league debut, the climax of a grueling 11-year journey through the minor leagues.
During that journey, Coste made stops in Brandon, Brainerd, Fargo-Moorhead, Buffalo, Akron, Pawtucket, Indianapolis, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Obregon before finally catching on at the game’s top level. However, that debut was really only the beginning of Coste’s professional career. The former Fargo South Bruin would go on to play in three different major league seasons before calling it quits before the 2010 season. During those three seasons, Coste was able to capture a World Series championship in 2008.
Since his professional playing career ended, Coste has wasted little time making an impact in the professional world. His first job after was as a pregame and postgame in-studio analyst for the Philadelphia Phillies. More recently, Coste has moved on to his alma mater, Concordia College, where he is the head coach. This past summer, he also served as the interim manager for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.
What are some of the responsibilities you walked into at Concordia that extend beyond baseball?
For me, it was maybe a little bit tougher than it was for some other coaches that transitioned from being a professional player to a coach. I went from the major leagues where money and budgets are not an issue to a Division III budget that can be really tough. It was tough getting used to that change. Things need to be planned out at the Division III level. I went from being spoiled to having to live within my means.
Were there any mistakes you made along the way because of that?
Learning the system was the hardest part. I have a fantastic mentor in Bucky Burgau, but once I became the head coach, everything fell on me. It took me a while to figure out how to fundraise. Fundraising is still my greatest weakness. I’m not great at asking people for money, but that’s part of the deal. We have to fundraise to go on our spring trip to Florida which is an incredibly important part of our athletes’ experience. Staying within the allotted budget isn’t the toughest thing in the world because Concordia has always made sure that we got what we needed and you can get creative with what you have, but fundraising is tough.
Is there anything you’ve done to try to get better or develop that skill set as far as fundraising goes?
Not really. Thankfully, the bigger fundraising projects are handled through our advancement department so it’s not like I have to make things up on the fly.
What from your athletic career has prepared you to take over in a management role that you’re in?
To be a successful athlete at the highest level you need to be able to make adjustments and adapt and evolve. As a coach, it’s incredibly important as well because you’re having to adapt in so many different. We’re not dealing with a University of Minnesota budget and we’re not dealing with a Philadelphia Phillies budget so you need to be able to find ways to overcome obstacles.
What tips do you have for other former athletes?
No matter what you do, nothing happens overnight. Whether it’s making the majors, building a championship team or a successful business. Not even LeBron James was born as good as he is. He had to work at it.
- 2008 World Series Champion
- First former MIAC athlete to win a World Series
- 3x All American
- 299 MLB appearances
- Concordia College Hall of Famer
- Dallas Green Special Achievement Award Recipient
- Member of the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame