Hamilton reaches 1,000 career wins as a coach

April 24, 2024 | 12:05 am

Updated April 24, 2024 | 4:02 am

Owensboro Catholic head coach Jody Hamilton recently achieved his 1,000th career win as a coach. Hamilton reached the 1,000 mark after Owensboro Catholic’s big 12-2 win over Union County on April 20. 

Hamilton’s 1,000th win was achieved during his 41st year of coaching. He is relatively new to the region as he in his third season with the Aces, but Hamilton began his coaching career 41 years ago as a volunteer graduate assistant for his alma mater Morehead State University. Hamilton not only played college baseball for Morehead, but he set records for both home runs, a record that was only just recently broken after 44 years, and batting average. After 2 years he made the switch to high school baseball coaching at Raceland. Not long after he began a 15-year stint with Boyd County. Following his departure from Boyd, he then coached at West Jessamine for another 15 years before taking the helm at Owensboro Catholic in 2022. 

Hamilton’s long history as a coach is something he himself finds hard to believe at times. He said he didn’t think he would be coaching for this long when he first started. 

“I really haven’t had time to think about it,” he said. “When I first started out, I don’t think I thought I’d be coaching this long let alone win a thousand games. It’s hard to fathom that I have been coaching this long.”

Across his many years of coaching Hamilton has always believed in keeping things tight on defense and making the most of every pitch on the mound. He’s carried this mentality throughout his career, and it doesn’t look like stopping any time soon.

“It’s been pretty much the same the whole time,” he said. “I think if you’re going to win games, you must play defense and you must pitch. Hopefully I’ve done that pretty well over the years. You just got to outscore the other team.”

Hamilton also makes it a point to get the most out of every player on his roster. There are always ups and downs, but Hamilton attributes a lot of his success to the talent of his players over the years. 

“I think talent always plays a hand in it,” he said. “In high school you’re not able to pick and choose the kids that you want. You get what you get, then you try to mold them into a team based on who can play what position. I don’t know if you can say that it’s gone right all the time, because I’ve lost almost 400 games too. It’s just that I’ve been in the right spot at the right time for a lot of years. It’s worked out to our advantage I guess.”

Individual talent is important, but first and foremost Hamilton makes sure that everyone is on the same page. He said he tries to get his players to buy into the name across their chest and not the one of their backs. Things run much more smoothly once the team is pulling for the same goals, he said. 

The team’s goals this year are to just take things one step at a time. After leading the Aces to a district championship, regional championship and a state appearance in his first year with the team, Hamilton didn’t see as much success in the post season last year. The team had an 18-14 overall record and suffered an early exit in the first round of the district tournament. This time around he said their mindset is to focus on one game after another.

“To me, every game is a goal,” he said. “I don’t necessarily think that we’re going to put a goal on the regional championship. I think we try to stress that between this game, this at-bat, this pitch, or whatever it may be, you string enough of those together and see how it goes. Hopefully it’ll lead you to a regional championship.”

As of right now, Owensboro Catholic are 15-5 overall and 3-1 in district play. This year will be a battle for the regional championship however, as Hamilton believes a lot of teams seem to have a secret weapon they can put on the mound. 

“As a whole, the region is the strongest it’s been since I’ve been in it,” he said. “It’s only three years, but everybody seems to have that one guy they can put on the mound to shut you down at any time.”

April 24, 2024 | 12:05 am

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