Dec. 17, 2012
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Joey Nelson
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Senior third baseman Chris Taladay understands what is expected of him day in and day out. On the diamond, he is a charismatic leader who is relied on in the clutch. When it comes to the classroom, Taladay is a general business major who aspires to call the shots for his own company. But for now, he is simply focused on getting the Knights to the College World Series and finishing his senior year right as graduation approaches.
Making 62 starts in 62 games last season, Taladay successfully managed his play on the field with studies in the classroom. He was best at the plate with a team-leading 78 hits and a batting average of .298. Knocking five balls out of the park and notching his first career grand slam during his junior season, Taladay is a player who his teammates and coaches can trust in tight games.
"Chris Taladay is as clutch as any player in the country, period," UCF head coach Terry Rooney said. "He just has a knack for always getting that big hit. Those are the real stats. What do you do when it matters most? What do you do when guys are on base? What do you do when the team needs you the most?
But when Taladay isn't at practice or a late-night ball game, he is perfecting his craft as a businessman. He is a firm believer in elbow grease and determination, making something your own and getting that job done right.
UCF's business classes are surely not a walk in the park and can certainly present a challenge for a student-athlete whose time can be consumed by practice and workouts. But the Knights' seasoned leader has found a way to manage his time as well as produce grade-A results on the academic field.
"I have gotten the time management skills down. I know what's expected for baseball. I know the times I'm going to have to be up at the field. Everything is planned out as far as what Coach Rooney gives us," Taladay explained. "I know the timing that I need to put in to school to be successful and achieve what I want to achieve."
His work ethic and achievements surely speak for themselves. It has been a balancing act of sorts. From a challenging road life to a Cornerstone business class that emphasizes real-world experience, Taladay continues to prove how the job should be done. Taladay has set the bar high. He jokes that he will run the next Proctor & Gamble, but with his manner of striving to be the greatest, you never know what can be achieved in the clutch.
This story appears in the November issue of Knights Insider magazine. The publication, which is published six times per year, provides an inside look at UCF student-athletes, coaches and alums. To order the magazine, click here.