Family members influence us.
From the simple things like clothes we wear to music we listen to and bigger things like our future college or career, we look to those closest to us for guidance.
For Sean Callahan of Framingham State, it was his family that helped him make one of the biggest life decisions a simple one.
Growing up in Watertown, Mass., Callahan grew up in a sports family. His aunts and uncles were very involved in town sports which included baseball. That is when he first dabbled in the sport.
Throughout middle and high school, he competed in town baseball, AAU and with the Legion. He was a three-sport athlete, competing in baseball, golf and hockey. When it came time to decide the next step of his education, it was the combination of family, sports and location that landed him at Framingham State.
“Framingham State was one of my top schools,” Callahan said. “I grew up in Watertown which is only about 20 minutes away. In the 1980’s, both my aunt played on the field hockey team and my cousin baseball. it had the small campus feel that I loved. It had the student to teacher ratio that I wanted. The campus just had everything that I needed.”
While attending college might be a scary step for some freshman, it was a reunion of sorts for Callahan. Six of his former high school teammates already were attending Framingham State and playing baseball. This helped him to transition into the college experience of a juggling classes with practice, workouts, games and a social life a lot easier.
Although the overall college experience started off positively, it took a few years for the baseball side of things to come to fruition.
“When I came in as a freshman, the coach left the week we all moved in,” Callahan said. “We went through a few coaches before Coach (Brian) Blumsack was hired. It took until my junior year for everything to click. We had some good recruits come in and Coach was able to get his system into place. Our pitchers were terrific, and our hitters were outstanding. That year was truly a team effort.”
During the 2010 season, the Rams set a then school record of 24 wins, going 12-3 in conference play to finish in second place in the MASCAC. For his efforts that season, Callahan earned MASCAC All-Conference honors after batting .323 with eight doubles, five home runs, 27 runs scored and 18 RBI as a catcher.
“Being named All-Conference was one of the happiest things to happen to me in college,” Callahan said. “I worked so hard to earn it. I had a knee surgery my sophomore year so my junior year I was 100 percent healthy and put in the extra time in the cages and it all paid off.”
Graduating in 2011 with a degree in business administration, Callahan had some offers to continue his baseball career in the Independent League. The unfortunate passing of his dad changed his plans and he would become a baseball instructor and coach high school ball. With the realization that his playing days were over, he focused on the coaching side and realized how much enjoyment he got out of watching those he coached be successful. Thus, a new career path was born.
Callahan got his start with UMass Boston as the hitting and catching coach for the Beacons. During his time with the team, they won the 2016 Little East regular season title and earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament. In 2017, they would win the Little East Tournament title and not only get a bid into the NCAA Tournament but advance to the College World Series.
Even though he was only with the Beacons for a few years, his time there left a lasting impression on Callahan.
“Since I didn’t know I wanted to coach originally, I didn’t have a lot of influences until I got to UMass Boston,” Callahan said. “Brendan Eygabroat is one of the best coaches in New England. Coaching with him for two years was an eye opener. You think you know baseball until you work with someone of that caliber. I still consult him to this day on things.”
After a stint at Stonehill College, Callahan was offered the opportunity of a lifetime…return to his alma mater as their head coach in 2018.
In his first season with Rams, the team finished 12-9 in the MASCAC and earned the third seed in the tournament. Kyle Hodgson was named MASCAC Pitcher of the Year while Hodgson and teammates Joe Ambrosino and Kyle Lippert earned All-Conference honors.
Despite only being a few years older than the student-athletes he coaches, Callahan embraces the age difference. He feels like he is at the perfect age to relate to them but can still share his experience and understanding of where they are. His door is always open if they have questions or issues. He wants them to know hes understands them but is stern enough to not allow them to get away with anything.
An education and chance to play collegiate baseball weren’t the only things that Framingham State gave Callahan. While he was there, he met fiancé Kelly German, who was a field hockey student-athlete for the Rams. When he isn’t coaching or spending time with Kelly, he loves to make the drive down 495 to the Cape to play some golf.
Looking back on his time as a student-athlete, a few of his fondest memories were of Senior Day and graduation. Celebrating those occasions with his teammates, several of who are in his wedding party, meant the world to him because of how hard they worked to get there. It is that work ethic that he wants future student-athletes to embrace when it comes to their collegiate careers.
“Keep working,” Callahan said. “It all pays off. Dedicate yourself in the classroom and practice. If you truly focus on one thing at a time, you will be successful. The worst thing to do is to try and do 20 things at once. Prioritize your work load. Once that happens, everything will fall into place.”