SOUTHFIELD — He worked with Ken Brown long enough to learn some tricks of the trade.
What he didn’t realize was how simple Brown made it look.
“He knew what he was doing,” Southfield Christian first-year softball coach Dave Erdmann said with a laugh last week. “He made everything look easy.”
Erdmann succeeded Brown this year with the Eagles, filling the role his predecessor held from 1982 to the end of last spring.
A junior varsity coach and assistant with Brown since 2009, Erdmann was, more or less, groomed to take over.
But replacing a man who coached 854 games, while winning 590 of them, was never going to be an easy task.
“It’s been a challenge. I mean, I’ve never done something like this before,” Erdmann said. “But I’m enjoying it. We’re kind of rebuilding now, but we’re getting better and we’re headed in the right direction.”
It’s been feast or famine for Erdmann and the Eagles this spring.
They were 3-5 at press time, having lost by mercy four times in that span while winning twice by 10 runs or more.
“There hasn’t been much in between,” he joked.
Four senior starters graduated from the 2012 team, so patience was a key Erdmann came into the season with.
“We knew it was going to take some time,” Erdmann said. “I had to adjust to the girls, and they had to adjust with me. All we want to do is keep getting them better. We’re building this up right now, and that’s the key.”
Erdmann said Brown still makes an appearance from time to time, something the former and current coach both welcome.
He learned plenty as an assistant with Brown, and even more now as the man who replaced him.
And now he’s learning to enjoy it.
“You have to,” he said. “You have to enjoy the challenge. It’s certainly different than I thought it would be. But I think what we’re doing will pay dividends for the girls, for myself and for the program.”