Boyd notches 500th coaching victory

Posted 3/19/2021

East Paulding coach Tony Boyd, right, won his 500th game Friday, March 19.

 

Boyd notches Win No. 500

Tony Boyd tried his best to downplay the moment.

But the legendary East Paulding High School baseball coach couldn't hide from his latest achievement Friday night -- his 500th coaching victory.

It was coming -- sooner rather than later.

"When you've been doing this as long as I have, I guess you are bound to win a few," Boyd joked.

After a 1-0 victory over region rival Paulding County, East Paulding principal Brad Thomason presented Boyd with a baseball after the game. Then with Boyd caught up in the moment, his players doused him with the water cooler.

"I'm getting too old and I can't outrun that anymore, so I just took it," Boyd said. "I told the kids after the game that I appreciated the gesture, but it was really about them."

Boyd is the second state coach to notch 500 coaching victories this season. Two weeks ago, Dawson County's Dwayne Sapp joined the exclusive club. Only 33 coaches have 500 or more wins. Boyd is No. 34.

He currently ranks 14th among active Georgia prep coaches. His overall record after Friday's victory is 500-383.

He began his coaching career at Wills High School in Cobb County after graduating from the University of Alabama in 1983. He was an assistant in football, girls basketball and baseball, mainly coaching the freshmen and junior varsity teams for three seasons before moving over to Pebblebrook High School. Boyd coached the varsity baseball program for nine seasons and was also a football and boys basketball assistant.

He landed as the head baseball coach at Holy Innocents’ in 1995 and coached the varsity program until 2005, averaging 13 wins per season.

In 2006, he was an assistant baseball coach at McEachern before taking over the baseball program at East Paulding.

He has won three region titles, all at East Paulding, and guided the Raiders to 11 postseason appearances. His postseason resume includes three trips to the quarterfinals and one trip to the semifinals. In 2019, he was inducted into the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame.

He was Region Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2008, and he served as an assistant coach for the Georgia Dugout Club All-Stars in 2009 and in 2019. Boyd’s record at East Paulding is 282-147.

He has helped countless players get into college, but perhaps his prized pupil is current Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Zach Wheeler, a first round draft pick in 2009. 

Boyd said he got a congratulatory text from Wheeler after achieving the milestone win Friday evening.

“Tony is one of those guys that you know what you are getting when you play his teams,” former Carrollton coach Ryan Zaideman said. “His teams every year are well-coached and disciplined.

“He’s an excellent mentor as well. He’s a great mentor to his players. He’s one of those that even though we play in the same region, if I called him, he would try to do whatever I asked. He’s a great ambassador for the game and an even better person.”

Boyd said he values building relationships as much as he does winning.

“One of the most rewarding things is when those players come back around, and they tell you they appreciate what you did,” he said. “Those are good memories. It makes you feel good.”