Like Father, Like Sons: Nick And Nate Squires Follow In Their Dad’s Footsteps

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There has always been a connection between Nick and Nate Squires.

The identical twins grew up doing everything together, with similar interests in nearly everything. They formed a passion for all sports. The boys didn’t care whether it was a basketball, baseball or football; just as long as there was a ball in their hands.

But from the moment they stepped onto the tee-ball field together at the age of four, the Squires developed an interest pursuing a similar career to their father in the game of baseball.

Nick and Nate’s father, Jeff Squires, was a four-year letter-winner for the University of Toledo baseball program in the late 1970’s. He finished his career and remains fourth all-time in the Toledo record book with a .343 career batting average. In 1979, he was recognized as a Second Team All-MAC and Academic All-MAC selection.

Jeff admits that he never really anticipated his sons pursuing similar interests to his, but he did steer the two to the game of baseball. For eight years, he coached their baseball teams and then became a fan when Nick and Nate started to play travel ball.

Without a doubt, Jeff had a great influence on the twin’s decision to play baseball at the collegiate level.

“He had a lot (of influence),” Nick said. “Probably had the most influence out of anybody, him playing in the MAC and everything.”

When the brothers were going through the recruiting process, they made one rule plain and simple for college baseball coaches. Nick and Nate were a package deal; when coaches wanted one player, they better have an offer ready for the other.

“I think our junior year, when schools started looking at us, we started saying, 'You know, we're probably going to go to college together,’” Nick said. “I mean we've been together our whole lives, so why not just stick together through college?”

The Squires encountered several times on recruiting visits examples of twins succeeding together at the collegiate level. On their visit to Xavier, they talked with assistant coach Nick Otte, who encouraged the two to play together because he had a great experience playing with his twin brother, Zach, at Indiana.

When the boys began to look at different universities, there was always the possibility of Nick and Nate wanting to follow in their father’s footsteps at Toledo, but a lot had to go right in order for them to play together.

“Our dad wanted us to go to Toledo actually pretty bad,” Nate said. “You know, we were definitely emailing the coaches and seeing what was there. But then they've got a good infielder there that's an underclassman. I know they had their outfield pretty much done by our junior year, so it's pretty much OU from when we decided.”

Jeff, on the other hand, never really pressed his sons to go to Toledo to play baseball, emphasizing the importance of education.

“I didn’t really want to push them that way. I wanted them to focus more on school, which they did. Toledo was a great option for me, a great fit,” said Jeff, who got a lot of his information on Toledo baseball program from the alumni letters they send.

Jeff was always a huge encourager of his sons attending Ohio University, saying what’s not to love about the campus. Back in his playing days he enjoyed every away game visit to Athens, Ohio during his four years at Toledo. Not only was he in love with the campus and facilities, but Jeff also had strong connections within the program during Nick and Nate’s recruiting.

Legendary Ohio coach Joe Carbone, who was the Bobcats’ head coach that recruited the Squires boys, was an assistant coach at Toledo when Jeff played. When Nick and Nate’s high school squad won the state tournament in 2010, Jeff thought it’d be a great experience for his sons to visit Carbone when the boys were at an Ohio University basketball camp.

Unfortunately, Carbone wasn’t in town that week, but he returned Jeff’s call and informed him that he was aware of the state championship his sons had just won that year.

From that point, the connection was made.

Heading into the fall of their senior year, the two decided that Ohio was going to be their for-sure college destination. Of course, Jeff and his wife, Brenda, supported the choice.

But then there was a change at the helm of the Ohio baseball program. After 24 years in the dugout for the Bobcats, Carbone retired. The athletic department immediately began their search for a new head coach.

“I told the boys, ‘You’re making a decision to go to school. I don’t care who they hire. You’re choosing this to go to school," Jeff explained.

“Whoever the coach is,” He said. “Is going to bring in a new philosophy to the program.”

The hiring of Rob Smith eliminated any concerns for the Squires. Jeff was extremely impressed with how the Ohio Athletic Administration kept every family informed with how they were going to fill the coaching void and how the Bobcat family was still interested in having their student-athletes come to Ohio University.

There was no change in the boys’ minds. They were going to play for the Ohio Bobcats.

And ultimately, the two have made a smooth transition to the college game as freshmen. Both are currently in the starting lineup and have had success in continuing to grow with the young program. Nate and Nick have become every day starters in their regular positions of second base and center field, respectively, with Nick following in his dad’s shoes by playing outfield in college.

The college life has been simpler for the Squires because they’ve each had their best friend to experience the transition to college. The roommates share the same classes and can be seen together nearly everywhere they go. And in their father’s opinion, Nick and Nate made the right decision by rooming together their first year and adjusting to the college life together.

After all, everything they’ve done throughout their lives has been together. From tossing the ball in their backyard to playing catch in Bob Wren Stadium, Nick and Nate have been with each other.

At some point, they’ll have to separate, but they aren’t rushing anything. They have four years of baseball left to play together. As for their father, he continues to watch his sons play from the bleachers.