Spotlight on Trevor Purcell

Trevor Purcell after being inducted as an inaugural member of the Mount Saint Mary College Hall Of Fame in 2013. (Photo courtesy of msmcknights.com)

by Matthew Lennon

NEWBURGH— He’s one of the most decorated players in program history at Mount Saint Mary College (MSMC). He is a four-year standout who holds numerous MSMC records for his performance on the field.

Trevor Purcell knew what he wanted to do once his playing career had ended.

“I knew I wanted to get into coaching pretty much right when my collegiate career at the Mount ended,” said Purcell.

He started that very next year in 2003 when he got his first coaching opportunity as head coach of the modified team at Valley Central Middle School in Montgomery, N.Y. From there he moved up to the varsity team at Valley Central High School, where he was the assistant coach to Eric Bartle for five years.

“It’s challenging,” said Purcell. “You look at the game differently being a player on the field then being the coach in the dugout. There are some days where I definitely miss playing.”

Purcell said that is one of the toughest things about being a coach after having played the game for almost 20 years.

Entering his sixth season at MSMC as an assistant coach and 12 years overall involved in coaching, Purcell has a clear message he likes to send his players.

“My overall goal as a coach is to get the most out of my players daily, as far as talent,” he said. “Coming in as a freshman to when he leaves as a senior, I want to see improvement.”

When he’s not coaching at MSMC, Purcell can be found at Our Lady of Lourdes High School in Poughkeepsie, where he is in his first year as the dean of students. He spent the previous two years there as a social studies teacher.

Purcell finds many similarities between coaching and teaching, and said coaching has improved his abilities in the classroom.

“I could definitely make the comparison between being in the classroom and on the field,” he said. “There are lots of situations I would handle the same.  Trying to get a student to understand a certain point in a topic is very similar to how I would try to get a player of mine to understand how to improve his game.”

In the summer, Purcell can be found coaching in the Hudson Valley Collegiate Baseball League as head coach of the Extra Inning Clippers. Purcell, a former player in the HVCBL for the Montgomery Cardinals for many years, has been coaching in this league for the past eight seasons.

Although he has a passion for education and teaching students, nothing compares to his love for the game of baseball.

“If I had to choose I would probably take coaching because I love the game so much,” Purcell said. “Competing is a big factor for me, I love to compete in everything I do. That’s what I’m about.”

Purcell has found a home on the coaching staff at Mount Saint Mary College.

“I played here for four years, it’s great to be a part of this program again,” said Purcell. “It’s nice to see where the program has grown. I think the Mount is on the uprise, and we’re only getting better.”