Marist's Strickland records 500th win

Posted 3/14/2022

Marist coach Mike Strickland became the latest coach to join the 500-win coaching club on Monday, March 14

 

Strickland notches 500th career coaching victory

A 15-0 victory over Hapeville Charter Monday afternoon in the first game of a doubleheader helped Marist baseball coach Mike Strickland record his 500th career coaching victory.

The longtime Marist and former South Forsyth High School coach became the 37th coach in state history to record the milestone victory. A 17-0 victory in a doubleheader sweep gave the legendary Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame coach his 501st coaching victory.

Strickland entered the 2022 season with an overall record of 493-250-10. After Monday, his record stands at 501-253-10.

As usual, Strickland preferred not to be in the spotlight.

"This is a great honor, but it truly is more about the support that has always surrounded me starting with my wife and kids, parents and family along with the two great school communities that have allowed me to pursue this passion; the great assistants I have been able to share the field and dugout with and the incredibly talented players I have had the privilege to coach," he said. 

"This milestone is really special and significant, but the relationships behind the teams that earned these victories give this achievement true and real meaning."

The longtime coach has developed a strong reputation of honesty and integrity that goes beyond the baseball diamond.

After graduating from Roswell High School, Strickland attended the Citadel where he did not play baseball. He returned during the summers and coached Roswell High summer league teams before graduating from college.

“When I knew I was not going to be able to play anymore, I was going to coach,” Strickland said.

His first job was in his hometown at Independence High School, an alternative school, and he was as an assistant at Roswell High under longtime coach John Coen until Coen retired in 1997. When he wasn’t offered the head job, he concluded a busy summer by landing at South Forsyth. Strickland stayed there until 2005. He guided the War Eagles to three region titles, a semifinal appearance in 2003 and a quarterfinal trip in 2004. He left with a career coaching record of 111-93-9.

Strickland took over at Marist in 2005 and has been there since, leading the War Eagles to state titles in 2010, ’11, ’17 and '21 as well as runner-up finishes in 2006 and ’13. He has led Marist to seven region titles, two trips to the state semifinals (2007, '09) and a quarterfinal appearance in 2012.

He has also spent time coaching USA Baseball. He coached in the 2014 15U trials and was an assistant on the 2015 15U National Team that won the WBSC gold medal. He was head coach of the 2016 15U National Team that captured a bronze medal.

Known as a player’s coach who builds relationships beyond the game, Strickland credits a good part of his success to The Citadel.

"The Citadel and my close-knit family had the greatest impacts on my coaching career," Strickland said. "From my family, I learned about faith in God and unconditional love and from The Citadel, when you experience that kind of leadership laboratory environment, it gives you an understanding of what makes a team work and how leadership impacts the development of your relationships that are the foundation of your program.”