Before becoming the director of baseball operations at Ohio State, Blair Everhart served as a student manager of the baseball program, spending his undergraduate years helping in the background to stay connected to the game of baseball. A native of Columbus, Everhart had the opportunity to play at several Division II and Division III schools, but ultimately chose to stay home, close to his first two passions: OSU and baseball.
After graduating from nearby Olentangy Liberty High School in Powell, Ohio, in the spring of 2008, Everhart started as a student manager in the fall of his first semester at OSU. Everhart’s first year was the second-to-last year Bob Todd served as OSU’s baseball coach, who retired in the spring of 2010, when Everhart was a sophomore. Greg Beals was hired to take over the helm, and Everhart stayed on as a student manager, finishing out his last two years of college with the team in the same role.
Though grateful for the opportunity, Everhart said that his role within Todd’s program was limited, with his duties including setting up the field for practice, charting, putting video together for the players, and then maybe getting out a machine if the staff wanted something else done.
With Beals’ arrival at OSU in the fall of 2010, Everhart said his role expanded and learned more about the game than he had working for Todd.
“The level of new teaching that the new coaching staff did kind of shocked me at how little you get taught about the game at the high-school level,” Everhart said. “It made me appreciate the art of coaching that much more, and my love for the game continued to grow.”
Everhart’s increased managerial responsibilities included anything from hitting fly balls with a fungo bat to outfielders, or even mixing in with players during individual drills if the player was working alone, enabling Everhart to dust off of his game, while giving breathers to the athlete.
Everhart graduated from the university with a B.A. in Political Science in the summer of 2012. Following his final season with the Buckeye baseball team, Everhart went back to Beals, expressing a desire to remain around the program in any possible capacity.
Then, during one of OSU’s baseball summer camps, Beals called Everhart into his office. Beals said the OSU Athletic Department had agreed to create a new position -— director of operations -— in the front office of the baseball program.
The athletic department told Beals that Everhart would have to apply and go through an interview process, and that multiple applicants would be considered. Nonetheless, Everhart felt good about his chances.
“I knew I was going to have a pretty good opportunity at getting that job, just from the repertoire I had built for the last couple years,” he said.
As it played out, Everhart was ultimately hired to be the first director of operations in program history. He went from passing on collegiate sports at a lower division to do the dirty work for the team and school he loved, and ultimately became an integral part of OSU’s program. That speaks to the dedication and hard work Everhart put in as an undergraduate and student manager.
Everhart still helps with charting and with video responsibilities, but now with four student managers to help handle the workload. In addition to being on the field with the team every day, he handles all of the team’s travel itinerary: buses, flights, meals, etc. He takes prospective recruits on tours of campus and to athletic events on official visits, and helps with the baseball program’s donors and alumni relations.
Beals corroborated these duties and described the impact Everhart has on the program and its players.
“I think at first, as a student manager, Blair earned their respect. Now that he’s in a role and he’s part of our coaching staff now, that respect is kind of set forth initially.” Beals said, “But again, his interaction with the guys, his energy that he brings to practice, his passion for our program and our university is very, very apparent and our guys in the program learn that very quickly from Blair.”
For Everhart, the relationship with his job and his love of the sport are entwined like the 108 stitches that comprise the stitching of every baseball.
“It’s one of the reasons I love baseball so much.” Everhart said, “You get to come to the field every day, and you never know what you might have to deal or who you might have to deal with, but it’s a variety of things.”