Kuhn bringing enthusiasm to first fall at Radford

RADFORD, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Karl Kuhn admits that he hasn't been getting much sleep over the past few weeks.

“About three or four hours a night," Radford's new baseball coach admitted before practice on Tuesday afternoon. "But I’ll get enough when I need it down the road.”

After 16 months as pitching coach at Virginia, Kuhn was hired at Radford on August 22. Workouts and conditioning began the week after he was introduced. Fall ball started in mid-September, and the Highlanders open their Red-Blue World Series on Thursday.

“I’m having a blast, in case you couldn’t tell. I’m really excited," said Kuhn, a first-time college head coach. "I’ve just been lucky enough and afforded enough to have that opportunity. There’s 300 of these jobs in the country. Three hundred. And I’m one of 300 now, and I don’t take that lightly. I’m very humbled by it.”

Kuhn's new players have been quick to pick up on the energy he's bringing to his new job.

“It’s unreal. He comes to practice every day like we’re playing in the World Series," said Radford junior pitcher Cody Boone. "Every day is a new challenge, new day. And we all just build off that and thrive off that.”

Kuhn says his message to the Highlanders this fall has been about accountability, and playing the game the right way.

“We’re going to be tough. And that means you’ve got to finish things. You’ve got to be resilient," he said. "And they have answered the bell, 100 percent.”

“It’s about playing baseball against the game. Not our opponent. And every day we try to find something to build on and get better at," said Boone. "“He doesn’t sugar-coat things for us, which is good because that’s what we need, and that’s kind of what we need to be successful.”

“Things that we weren’t really taught before, he’s got a different perspective on things," said senior infielder Colby Higgerson. "And it kind of opens eyes, our eyes toward the game, how we can better ourselves so we can win a lot of games this year.”

Kuhn joined the UVA coaching staff when Brian O'Connor was hired as head coach before the 2004 season. He was the pitching coach for all four of the Cavaliers' College World Series teams, including the 2015 national championship team, plus a pair of ACC tournament titles.

Kuhn described his time in Charlottesville as "a great 16-year tutelage." But he also says he's getting used to no longer showing up for work dressed in orange and blue.

“I’m excited to wear red. I’m excited to wear Radford colors," he said. "And I’m just so thrilled that I get to represent a great university.”

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