A decade ago, Bob Godlewski was recruiting future Major League Baseball stars like Rocco Baldelli and Josh Hamilton. These days the Castleton State College public safety director’s role is to keep the school safe and orderly, but he still has his hands in baseball. Godlewski attended Ithaca College, where he had the chance to play collegiate baseball as a pitcher. His pitching ability opened doors to Major League programs around America. For seven years starting in 1996, Godlewski had the chance to be a Major League scout in the New England Region, where he saw many of New England’s best players and even players playing today in Major League Baseball.
It was during that period that he got the chance to scout last year’s Home Run Derby champion, Josh Hamilton, as well as current Boston Red Sox outfielder Rocco Baldelli.
“Rocco was one of the best players I had ever seen at his age. His bat speed, quickness and love for the game was what made him such a good player and as for Josh, he had a huge bat when he was in development. I have yet to see anybody hit a baseball harder than him,” Godlewski said.
Godlewski started his career scouting in 1996, which then led him back into coaching baseball. He said he always loved coaching more than scouting.
As a coach, he has been very successful coaching at junior colleges in New York and he currently serves as the assistant coach/pitching coach at Castleton State College. He has tallied more than 1,000 wins as a coach and has racked up numerous Junior College Regional and World Series appearances.
But winning isn’t what truly drives him.
“Working with the players is something I enjoy to do on an everyday basis. Helping a player better his strengths and weaknesses is always something I love to watch,” he said.
Castleton outfielder Dan Conley praised Godlewski and talked about his impact as a coach.
“I started playing for Bob two summers ago and I feel like I have learned the most about the game with Bob. He helped me with my swing and throwing abilities that helped me take my game above what I thought I could,” Conley said.
But while his love of baseball remains strong as ever, Godlewski’s full time job is to keep the campus safe. When asked what he actually does every day, he quickly shot back, “I keep my students, my teachers and my employee’s safe.”
He said that involves traffic flow and parking, drug and alcohol situations and virtually anything that might hinder the safety of people on campus.
“Mr. Godlewski is a great guy. I was around the scene when the kid walked the gun on campus and after the situation I found him e-mailing and frantically trying to figure the situation out. After that I noticed numerous alarm tests and safety measures coming onto campus only making me respect what Campus Safety was doing.I respected his decisions to the fullest,” said student Ryan Piluski.
Most days, Godlewski can be found in Castleton State College’s Public Safety office or in the dugout coaching and cheering on his Spartan baseball team. And he almost always has a smile going, with a joke ready to tell.