Photo provided by Sewanee University 
Sewanee: University of the South assistant baseball coach and 2002 Crawfordsville High School graduate Adrian Norris (left) will coach against DePauw in this weekend’s doubleheader.
Photo provided by Sewanee University
Sewanee: University of the South assistant baseball coach and 2002 Crawfordsville High School graduate Adrian Norris (left) will coach against DePauw in this weekend’s doubleheader.
Coaching runs in the Norris family.

Adrian Norris watched his father and Crawfordsville High School softball coach Brian Norris coach nearly every high school sport during his childhood.

He followed him to games, and as he grew up, whether he was playing high school or college baseball or out in the real world, that coaching dream never left him.

So when the 23-year-old Adrian left a job at a mutual fund company in Indianapolis this past July to become an assistant baseball and football coach at Sewanee: The University of the South, an NCAA Division III school in Tennessee, his father wasn't surprised.

Adrian followed his passion, his calling, his family.

"The business world was not for me. I was into coaching. That was for me," said Adrian Norris , a 2002 Crawfordsville High School graduate. "One thing that stands out about (my dad) is his work ethic. Coaching is a lot harder than I think a lot of people give credit for. He put in a ton of time doing it, enjoys doing it and works hard at it. That's one specific thing I tried to model from him - his work ethic."

Norris and Sewanee: The University of the South will take on Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference rival and NCAA Division III No. 27 DePauw University in 1 p.m. doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday.

DePauw (20-6, 7-1 SCAC) had its three game-winning streak snapped Wednesday, suffering a 3-2 loss at in-state rival Rose-Hulman.

Sewanee (4-18, 2-5 SCAC) has lost five of its last six games, including a 7-6 loss to NCAA Division III No. 14 Emory on Wednesday.

The two conference foes were supposed to play a 4 p.m. game Friday, but the game was postponed. So, they will make the game up by playing back-to-back doubleheaders - and an anxious Adrian Norris can't wait.

"I'm a little nervous but more excited," said Adrian Norris, a 2006 DePauw graduate. "I was just telling one of my other friends here that I've got this excited feeling. I'm thrilled to get back there. It's going to be a fun weekend. I have a little nervousness now that we've got the team here. I have to make sure they play well. I'm just really excited. I know a lot of kids on (DePauw's) team and the coaching staff is close."

Adrian Norris played under DePauw coach and 1995 Crawfordsville High School graduate Matt Walker.

He was primarily a catcher and helped lead the Tigers to four 20-plus win seasons and a first-place SCAC East finish in 2005.

DePauw also recorded a school-record 29 wins that season - breaking its previous record of 28 set the year before.

But the Crawfordsville connection between the Norris' and Walker even extends one branch - or one sport - further.

Brian Norris coached Walker when he played basketball at Crawfordsville High School. Norris was an assistant varsity boys basketball coach during Walker's career.

Walker knew Adrian Norris would develop into a coach right away.

He noticed Adrian was a natural leader. He was well-respected by his teammates, not only because of his position but because of his demeanor.

He stayed in control - no matter what the situation - and pushed other players, either by getting on or encouraging them.

"Baseball has so much negativity because of the nature of the game. You've got be a really good handler and manager of each individual," Walker said. "With some guys, you've got to know how to get on them. On other guys, you have to be their friend. Baseball is a different game . . . Learning how to manage the negativity, that goes along with playing baseball and knowing how to manage each individual is half the battle. I saw Adrian doing that. It was easy for him to do that because he had so much respect from his peers."

Brian Norris thought his son would wind up coaching all along.

He knew while watching him work with 26-year and veteran Crawfordsville High School baseball coach John Froedge, and then while under the tutelage of Walker.

But he never told him. Instead, the father let his son figure his career out for himself.

"(Adrian) is doing what he loves and what I think is his gift," Brian Norris said. "I think that's his calling - to work with young people, whether it be at college or whatever. I thought he would have to pay his dues and work his way up through thing. I'm pretty sure this is what he's going to stay with."

This will be Norris' first time back to the area since becoming an assistant coach.

DePauw's football team traveled to Sewanee for a Sept. 22 game this past season, winning 14-10.

Adrian would like to get some revenge this weekend.

He loves both sports - and having the chance to coach both is a blessing.

"I enjoy baseball," he said. "It was my best sport. I really enjoyed playing that. But I did have a real distinct love for football . . . I have enjoyed everything about it."