Bobby Howard: Columbus High School

Bobby Howard

The state's all-time winningest high school baseball coach, Bobby Howard was inducted into the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame in 2004.
The legendary coach has amassed a career coaching record of 985-296. In 1997, Howard stepped away from high school coaching and led Middle Georgia College for one season, guiding the Warriors to a state championship. He won more than 40 games, which gives him more than 1,025 victories.
He coached at Jordan, Kendrick, Columbus High and Central High in Phenix City, Ala. His greatest success came at Columbus High where he led the Blue Devils to 12 state championships in 31 seasons. He notched 819 victories.
Howard also finished with eight state runner-up finishes as well as 29 region titles during his tenure with the Blue Devils before abruptly retiring three games into the 2015 season. He spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons across the Chattahoochee River in Phenix City. He led the Red Devils to state playoff appearances both seasons and led the school to a region title in 2016.
On June 22, 2017, Howard accepted the head baseball coaching position at Cartersville High School before later resigning.
In 2004 and 2012, his Columbus High baseball teams finished second nationally in the final polls.
"You have to have great players, great assistant coaches, great parents and great administrators who support you," Howard told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.
The 11-time State Coach of the Year was recognized as the ABCA/Diamond National High School Coach of the Year in 2000, as well as an ABCA/Diamond Regional Coach of the Year in 2000, 2005 and 2012. He was also named USA Today's 2004 National High School Coach of the Year and ESPN's National High School Coach of the Year in 2012.
In 2005, Howard was selected to serve as the head coach of the Aflac East High School All-America team, where he had the opportunity to coach the best high school players in the country.
In 2017, Howard was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Chattahoochee Valley Sports Hall of Fame and the Sunbelt Classic Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the Columbus State University and Jordan High School Halls of Fame as a player.
A graduate of Jordan High School, Howard has sent a wealth of talent to college and many were drafted. One of his prized players is Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, who singled out Howard for his influence on the 19-year veteran.
“You made me grow up in a hurry,” Thomas told Howard in his Hall of Fame acceptance speech. “Your no-nonsense approach to the game was needed at an early age. Winning was the only option. You preached that, and you made me work for it. You set my foundation for life. I love you, and I thank you.”
The 34-year ABCA member has been a featured speaker at the ABCA Convention and has spoken at several state coaching clinics across the South. Howard has also served the National High School Baseball Coaches Association for five years as a member of the Southeast All-Region and All-America Committee.

Some information in this article was used from the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer and