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Head Baseball Coach Takes Home 500th Win

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Head Baseball Coach Takes Home 500th Win

Teachers and students honor coach Steve Griffith by dressing like him.

Teachers and students honor coach Steve Griffith by dressing like him.

L. Fruge

Teachers and students honor coach Steve Griffith by dressing like him.

L. Fruge

L. Fruge

Teachers and students honor coach Steve Griffith by dressing like him.

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Some coaches may dream of the day when they will reach their 500th win. For LCM Head Baseball Coach Steve Griffith, this dream came earlier than most. He became the youngest coach in Texas to reach this milestone when the Bears defeated the Lumberton Raiders, 4-0, on April 17.

Griffith has been a Bear from the beginning when he played for LCM in 1982 and 1983. During his time at LCM, he helped win the first boys sport district championship in school history, post consolidation in 1971. At the age of 22, he became an assistant baseball coach in Joshua, Texas and a few years later, he moved to another position in Hooks, Texas. At 27, he was offered the head coaching position at LCM and has been there for 21 years.

“My mother told me when I was a kid to choose a profession that when my eyes opened in the morning, I would want to go to work and not dread it,” Griffith said.

During his reign as the head coach, some of Griffith’s teams have attended State Championships, have been picked fifth in their district, and have  played in the Class 4A Region III Championship game.

“We have had many seasons that were successful in different ways,” Griffith said. “The differences in those seasons and this one are obvious. We played the game at a level that resulted in the winning of many more games. We simply made too many mistakes on the field to stay in the post-season race.”

It’s safe to say that many of Griffith’s past and present players have learned from him and have felt the impact he had made on their lives.

“He teaches us to work hard and be the best at whatever we do in life,” sophomore baseball player Vinny Hale said. “He has lots of experience, so it’s fun listening to his stories and everything he has to say. He’s full of baseball knowledge.”

According to Griffith, he tries to teach his kids to look around for people in need of help and he said most times it is blatantly obvious when somebody is in need. He tries to help his players learn to act upon this information, form a plan, and execute the plan to help others in the community. Griffith said when it is a large group of people doing the helping, the sky is the limit as to what can be accomplished.

“My main goal as a coach is to teach kids to succeed at whatever they set their mind to accomplish,” he said. “If they commit to something and put everything they have into focusing on success, it will usually happen. It’s all about increasing your odds of sucess. Those that do not commit and put in the time learn that hard and success usually does not follow.”

Last Friday, the district awarded Griffith a plaque to honor all of his wins and presented the award to him at the Bears’ last game of the season. Earlier that day, the high school campus honored Griffith by encouraging students and staff members to dress like him.

“The ceremony that our district held was special for me, my family and our current and former baseball players,” he said.

According to Griffith, after more than 700 games coached at LCM, there is nothing that he has not experienced before. He said his family has always supported him in baseball and in fact, his daughters were the reason he originated the Diamond Girls program.

“I did this to involve them in my work,” Griffith said. “They were very helpful to our program and the girls that are involved to this day are also. My wife has always been supportive. It is hard on families when their dad is a coach and he is gone many evenings during the season.”

Along with his family, Griffith and the baseball boys also get a lot of support from the school district and other parents.

“We have had talented players and some great administrators, athletic directors, parents, fans and alumni that have been supportive of our program,” he said.

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Head Baseball Coach Takes Home 500th Win