Nick Zumsande to coach Muscatine High School baseball

Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

MUSCATINE, Iowa–Though baseball fans in Muscatine have not seen Nick Zumsande around town in a few years, many remember him for his distinguished career coaching Muscatine Community College’s baseball team. After putting his baseball skills and knowledge to good use in varied positions across the state and Midwest, Zumsande has returned to Muscatine, this time to coach the Muscatine High School varsity baseball team and to teach physical education during the school year.

After playing baseball in college at Iowa State University, Zumsande did not feel he had quite what he needed to play in the major leagues. Instead, he attended graduate school at Northwest Missouri State University. While there, he coached for the first time, realizing he enjoyed forming relationships with players and helping them develop their skills to the greatest extent possible. “It’s the relationships that you make with people and players–it’s opened up doors to me,” he said. “Just getting to work with young people is a blessing.”

In 1988, Zumsande took the head coaching position at Muscatine Community College. In the 12 years he coached there, the team had consistent success, winning more than 400 games in that timeframe. Looking back to that period, Zumsande recalls having warm connections with his players in Muscatine, and making friendships with local residents that have continued to this day.

Following his time in Muscatine, Zumsande has held a number of coaching positions, including at Indiana State University, the University of Iowa, and even his alma mater, Iowa State University.

For several years, Zumsande scouted for the Miami Marlins, traveling throughout an eight state region to evaluate talent at numerous schools. During this time, Zumsande missed coaching, though he did stay connected to youth sports by offering private lessons to players in the Cedar Rapids area, where he lived when not traveling to scout.

When a change in Marlins ownership led to a change of scouts, Zumsande decided to return to coaching, this time at the high school level. For the 2019-2020 school year, he took on the head coaching position at Clear Creek Amana High School. It proved an unusual year to start a new coaching job, as the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools prematurely that year and left the fate of the high school baseball season up in the air. Still, his team did get to play in the abbreviated season and even made an appearance at the state tournament, a remarkable accomplishment.

When the head coaching position at Muscatine High School opened up, some of Zumsande’s friends in Muscatine encourage him to give it a try. He took their advice, and looks forward to coaching the children of some of the players he had while at Muscatine Community College. “I’m willing to give it my best shot,” he asserted.

Though high school baseball will not come back into season until next summer, Zumsande has already thought about how he can help the Muskie’s succeed. “I’ve seen snapshots of them in various ways, and I know they’ve got talent,” he said. “One of the things they’ll hear from me constantly is if you play sound baseball and have good fundamentals, the wins will take care of themselves.”

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