East Marshall softball coach Mike Vint hit a milestone with his one-thousandth coaching victory with a 7-2 win Friday over Marshalltown in the Bobcat Softball Classic It was the team’s fourth try at getting the big victory for Vint, who says he tried to downplay the issue. Vint says he’s sure it put a lot of undue pressure on the team as they tried to get him the win.
Vint didn’t imagine that he would ever hit one-thousand. Vint says he thought when he hit 100 “that was pretty neat.” Vint says he remembers 100 and 500, but the rest are kind of blurry. Vint says a couple of hundred kids at least have gone through the program and there have been a lot of great memories.
Vint says getting this many victories is due in part to his longevity. He started in 1971 in Green Mountain and had fall and summer softball a few seasons. Vint went to L-D-F in 1983 as baseball coach, and then took over as softball coach after one season. Vint came to East Marshall in the mid 1990’s and says this is his 35th season.
Vint says the quality of softball had increased tremendously. Vint says when he started in 1971 you might see one good pitcher out of every four or five teams, and now it seems like every team has a good pitcher. He says he’s had some outstanding pitchers on his teams including five who had 100 victories, one who had 98 and a couple with 50, so they helped him total at least 700 of the wins.
Vint has a few special memories. He says his first state tournament team in 1988, and then Vint says in 1990 he had what he thought was probably the best team he’s coached finished second and then didn’t make it back to state. Vint says he made it to five state tournaments and each one was special.
Vint says looks for athletes who are well-rounded. Vint says he wants them to be class people, and if they get better in softball, that’s a bonus. He says he wants to go out and represent their school and community and have a good work ethic that can carry on after softball.
How many years and wins are left in the coach? Vint says as long as it’s still enjoyable and he’s healthy he’ll keep at it. Vint says he’s 57 and hopefully can coach into his 60’s. The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union says eight other coaches have hit the one-thousand win milestone. Those coaches are: Larry Niemeyer, Ed Coughenour, Frank Huston, Gary Page, Bill Hennessy, Dick Rasmussen, Jerry Newton and Dennis Johnson.