Ask an average four year-old what they want to be when they grow up and you will likely get an emphatic assertion of an exciting career. Ask a graduating college senior that same question and the level of enthusiasm probably won’t be as high. Somewhere in between finger painting and biochemistry many people lose their assuredness about the direction they want their life to go. But, as Director of Baseball Operations at UC Santa Barbara Casey Harms will tell you, there’s nothing wrong with a little indecision at the end of your college days.
“I had always had some level of uncertainty in regards to what field I would go into after college,” said Harms, “In high school I thought I wanted to be a doctor because it seemed respectable, had the ability to provide for a family and could help people.”
Harms majored in Kinesiology at Occidental, but discovered that he didn’t really want to be a doctor, “I had classmates who were really gung-ho about becoming doctors and I wasn’t into it like they were so I figured I should do something else.”
As of graduation day in May 2012 Harms had shifted his sights toward getting a doctorate in physical therapy.
“Getting a DPT seemed like the right alternative and I had done some internships and those didn’t do enough to scare me away so I decided to apply for DPT programs,” Harms said.
A phone call from former Occidental Head Baseball Coach Jason Hawkins would once again shift Harms plans for his future. “Literally at 7am the day after graduation Hawk called me up and offered me a spot at Santa Barbara. As I was moving back home to Sacramento I stopped at UCSB and met with the staff and decided to take the position,” Harms recalled.
Unfortunately, before he could begin working the job Harms accepted fell through. It was a newly created position that did not end up getting approved. Casey returned to Sacramento and began working at a physical therapy clinic. But after a glimpse into the possibilities of working in collegiate baseball everything else seemed less appealing, “I never really believed I could do anything other than something in an academic field after attending a ‘smart’ school, but after being offered an alternative it opened my eyes that there was a lot more out there I could do.”
Harms wouldn’t have to wait long to get a second chance at UCSB. The director of baseball operations position opened up in September of 2012. Currently in the midst of his 5th season with the Gauchos Harms hopes to one day run his own collegiate program, “My path was different than most of my classmates who were pursuing the careers you’re ‘supposed’ to pursue after Oxy. But I realized you’re ‘supposed’ to do whatever you want to work really hard at.”
After getting a chance to be a part of UCSB’s first trip to the College World Series in Omaha in 2016 it certainly seems like Harms chose the right path.