Chicago Cubs coach Will Venable turns to Pete Carroll for coaching advice

March 2, 2020 / Coaching
Chicago Cubs third base coach Will Venable has spent his entire life in the eye of the baseball world.

Chicago Cubs Will Venable and Anthony Rizzo
Photo: Ian DAndrea, Wikimedia Commons

Venable himself is the son of former MLB outfielder Max Venable, who played for a handful of teams including the San Francisco Giants, Montreal Expos and Cincinnati Reds. After earning All-Ivy League honors (in both basketball and baseball) at Princeton, Will Venable spent time with the San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers during his nine-year MLB career.

But when Venable found himself as a candidate for three separate major-league managerial openings in the fall of 2019, he turned to an unlikely coaching peer in a separate league: Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.

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Mark Gonzales, the Chicago Cubs beat writer for the Chicago Tribune, wrote a piece that detailed Venable’s reaching out to Carroll, and some of the advice he received in going through the managerial interview process.

From the column:

“There were resources where I had an opportunity to get a feel for the types of questions that might be asked and get prepared with those,” said Venable, who switched coaching duties in the offseason from first base to third base. “But as far as presenting myself personally, I felt well-prepared to do that, and a lot of that was because of my talk with Pete.”

Venable continued to say that while Carroll provided plenty of advice, it was the advice to “be yourself” and establishing that message with the teams he was interviewing with that was key.

“Not only being yourself, which was a huge message, but also being in touch with those things and making sure you don’t leave the building without getting those things out. That was an important message from him and something that helped me feel good about the process.”

We all know about “coaching trees” and the way certain coaches help to mentor their assistants and coordinators — but not often do you get to hear about a coach from one professional league helping mentor potential coaches in another. There is plenty more to read, as well as more interesting tidbits from Venable’s conversation with Carroll, throughout Gonzales’ column.

To read more about Venable’s conversation with Carroll, and more from Cubs beat writer Mark Gonzales, click here.