Brad Posner has been a coach his entire life. Softball may be his passion, but teaching is his calling.
Posner was named UTD’s head softball coach July 5. For Posner, it is yet another opportunity in his career to influence minds and leave his mark on young adults’ lives, the first of which came at too young an age in a stressful situation.
Born in Suffern, N.Y., a town near New York City, Posner had a love for baseball. His father was the assistant district attorney in the Bronx, with an office overlooking right-center field at the old Yankee Stadium. Posner said he caught games all the time, whether it was looking out his dad’s office window or sitting in the bleachers after police officers let him in.
He earned acceptance into the University of Buffalo, but tragedy struck early in his life when his father passed away during Posner’s freshman year. His mother took on two jobs to make ends meet and Posner was forced to move home and take care of his younger brother. Posner said he assumed a parental role while raising his brother and did a fair job at it — his brother received an academic scholarship to Cornell University, his late father’s alma mater. His brother is now a financial planner in New York City.
Rather than immediately going back to school, Posner took a job at a juvenile delinquent rehabilitation facility, where he could further his teaching interest. At night when the delinquent kids would go to bed, Posner would take online courses and in 2008 graduated with a bachelor’s in psychology with honors. Though academics was a huge part of his life, Posner still had a yearning to coach.
His first softball coaching gig came when a friend started a softball program at a low-budget, urban school. He and Posner built the team from the junior high level to the varsity level in three years. Posner said at the time he took the job, most of the girls did not even have a glove, let alone any knowledge of softball. His new team lost nearly every game against wealthier, more experienced travel teams, but Posner said the lone win during his last season there was an incredibly happy and memorable experience not just for the players, but also for him. He’d discovered his career.
“I coach softball and get to work with phenomenal, talented athletes and students who are just great people,” he said. “I get to go recruiting on the weekends to watch younger players play… It’s a great job. Yeah, there’s paperwork and other stuff that goes along with the territory, but at the end of the day I just really love what I do. I wish everyone could find that.”
Posner visited Cortland University in the late ’90s and visited with head coach Julie Lenhart — one of few D-III softball coaches with more than 600 wins. Lenhart had heard of what Posner did at the high school and suggested he stay and help out with the team. Two days later, Posner signed a volunteer