For Jason and Jim McGowan, coaching softball about molding youngsters

East Islip head coach Jason McGowan warms up

East Islip head coach Jason McGowan warms up his team before a softball game against Hauppauge. (May 2, 2012) (Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

Jason and Jim McGowan have a lot in common as softball coaches and brothers from East Islip and Hauppauge, respectively. As the sons of former Bay Shore coach Jim McGowan -- he of the 29 seasons and state-record 657 wins -- Jason and Jim both lost their hair and shave it "just like my dad," Jason says, with a chuckle.

Besides that, both talk constantly year in and year out about what each team should be doing during practice in preparation for Suffolk's best. Now, the two enter this season as rivals in League IV.

Jason's Redmen meet Jim's Eagles to start the 2013 campaign at 10 a.m. March 25 at Hauppauge.

"He thinks my girls don't like playing early in the morning because it's colder at that time," Jason said of Jim. "It doesn't matter to me. He thinks his girls are a little tougher."

Jim admitted the weather played a role in the scheduling, but it wasn't the only factor. There are more league games later on that day for Jim to go scout.

"We're outside all the time," Jim said. "It's kind of something to get them mentally tough. You got to deal with it, play, and compete."

When the McGowan brothers aren't kidding each other, the two are busy at work, teaching special education; Jason at Amityville and Jim at Hauppauge.

Jason will either call or email Jim about what drill work would be best suited for his ballclub, but the calls may go on the back-burner for now.

"It's a different dynamic," said Jim, who referenced Jason's coaching at Plainedge previously from 2007-10, which made it easier in terms of talking strategy. "You got to be a little more guarded now."

Jason is glad the two will have some time in between their games to calm down once Easter Sunday arrives at their parents' house in Bay Shore.

"We're both very intense. We'll kick a bucket every now and then when we're not happy," said Jason, who had Jim as his assistant varsity softball coach at Half Hollow Hills West in 2001. "He's probably more of a yeller. Give me a couple of more years and I think that will change."

Jason change his demeanor? Jim already thinks it's more intense than his.

"He's more my dad, more animated than I am," Jim said. "What we share is our ability to make these kids better people and better players. I think we both do a good job of that."

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