Southampton native Max Weir doing a bit of everything as volunteer coach for UMass baseball

By KYLE GRABOWSKI

Staff Writer

Published: 04-03-2023 3:25 PM

AMHERST – Max Weir juggles a lot for the UMass baseball program.

The Southampton native primarily works with the catchers as a volunteer assistant coach, but he also holds players’ elbow protectors while coaching first base and coordinates the teams’ meals when they’re on the road.

“It’s a little surreal. I’ve been around here and when I was in high school, got to play here,” said Weir, whose Hampshire Regional squad reached the 2015 Western Massachusetts championship game at Earl Lorden Field. “It’s definitely good to be back.”

He joined the Minutemen after spending last year as Gardner-Webb’s head developmental team coach. That followed his undergraduate tenure at AIC first as a student assistant then in a paid role.

“Coaching’s been something I’ve been in where I grew up in it with my dad coaching football. It was something I’ve been around and seen and wanted to do,” Weir said. “I knew playing was going to end at some point, coaching was a good avenue for me to stay in the game and fill that gap and be able to help people become better players than what I was.”

Weir’s playing career ended after high school. He joined the AIC program as a student assistant then worked his way up. Weir has also worked with Powerhouse Training in East Longmeadow since then when the Yellow Jackets’ pitching coach brought him in. His familiarity with Western Massachusetts baseball and connections to travel ball in the area intrigued UMass coach Matt Reynolds and his staff.

“That’s been a bonus to all the other things he does well that we’ve got someone that knows the area really well and can help on the travel ball side of things and the recruiting side of things as well,” Reynolds said. “With his roots in Springfield and everything, it became an easy choice.”

Weir provides a positive presence in the dugout and on the baselines for the Minutemen, which host No. 9 Boston College in the first round of the Baseball Beanpot at 3 p.m. Tuesday (ESPN-Plus). UMass (4-15) lost all three games at Saint Louis over the weekend to open A-10 play. The Minutemen are aiming to reach the Beanpot championship game for the second season in a row. They fell 14-10 against BC last year.

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“He keeps us loose. He doesn’t want us all tense,” said UMass catcher Mike Toth, a Granby native. “He makes sure we’re all calm and do the right thing out there.”

Weir works in the office every day with the rest of the staff. He’ll chip away at organizational tasks like scouting, as well.

“It requires you to do a bunch of different things,” Reynolds said.

Weir greets Minutemen that reach first base with a pat on the back while they remove their protective gear. If UMass loads the bases he’s usually got various wrist guards, face protectors and elbow pads arranged precariously around his body. The more the better.

“That means the offense is going if I’ve got stuff in my hands at first base,” Weir said. “Hopefully we’ll keep it that way.”

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.]]>