Head baseball coach earns 300th career win


Courtesy of Akins Baseball Booster Club

Head baseball coach Eugene Salazar and the baseball team show off a banner celebrating Salazar’s 300th career win. The Varsity Baseball team defeated Leander High School 11-3, earning the distinction for Salazar.

Arianna Farner, Social Media Manager/Staff Writer

Twenty-seven years of coaching experience have yielded 300 career wins for head baseball coach Eugene Salazar.

The baseball booster club prepared a banner in anticipation of achieving the milestone win. The players, coaches and the crowd were ecstatic to see Salazar’s career success realized in such a monumental number.

“Well, it was a special win the other day,” Salazar said. “You go into the profession with certain goals. There are those small little accomplishments as a coach and as a person that you try to reach also so, it’s been great. It’s a great feeling.”

Salazar came to Akins in 2015 to coach baseball. He coached at Texas State University, St. Edward’s University, Texas A&M Corpus Christi and the University of Texas-Pan American.

His collegiate experience brought new coaching strategies and years of higher level game plans for the players.

“His collegiate background makes us trust his decisions a lot more than just another high school coach because he knows what it takes to get to the next level,” senior baseball player Patricio Perez-Torres said. “We trust his decisions a lot more.”

He also brought the expectations of college-level play for players at Akins. This sharpened the team’s skills and made room for more improvement.

“He’s very straightforward because he doesn’t sugarcoat anything and he knows his stuff,” senior baseball player Connor Archer said. “He’s a great coach and teaches us a lot of things. He’s a whole different person when we’re not on the baseball field because he’s a good coach. He’s tough, but when we’re off the field he’s more jolly.”

Salazar attributes his success to loving what he does and having the drive to better the baseball team as both people and players. He said having the passion and the patience to be tough on the players but still be a supportive coach takes years of experience to perfect.

I think (my success came from) the love of what I do because I feel that I can make a huge impact on kids.”

— Head Baseball Coach Eugene Salazar

“I think (my success came from) the love of what I do because I feel that I can make a huge impact on kids,” Salazar said. “You have to have a knack for (coaching) and you almost have to be wired to do it for so many years. But our ultimate goal is to make a lasting impact on them.”

Coaching also has its share of challenges. Salazar said his biggest challenge in coaching so long was being away from his family while working with various teams. While this was more of a struggle when he taught college-level baseball, it can still be stressful at the high school level.

“The most stressful thing that I had to deal with in my coaching is being away from my family for so long,” Salazar said. “Being out for hours of the day and then to come home at eleven at night and put the kids to bed. It was pretty stressful especially doing college ball.”

Salazar and the team’s success has been noticed by the Akins community as well as other schools and coaches in the area. Having 300 wins is not only a great achievement in the number of wins but also the grit and hard work that both coach and player put in.

“It’s an achievement,” senior baseball player Jaydon Thomas said. “Not every coach can do that (well) and get the 300 career wins.”