Editor's note: The following is a press release issued by District 202:
Baseball has taken Plainfield South High School’s Phil Bodine all over the world.
Now, it’s taking him to the Hall of Fame.
Bodine, the Cougars’ Varsity Baseball head coach has been inducted into the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame. He will be honored at a ceremony and dinner on January 26, 2013.
The prestigious award recognizes “those who have provided selfless efforts and long standing commitments to improve Illinois High School baseball,” according to a statement from the IHSBCA.
Bodine, who is in his 23rd year coaching and also teaches physical education certainly meets that requirement.
He coached and taught at Mendota and York high schools before coming to PSHS in 2009. Bodine’s teams have compiled a record of 470-285, including a record of 81-57 at PSHS.
In his career, 15 of Bodine’s 22 teams have won 20 or more games out of a schedule of about 30. His teams have won four Regional titles and four Sectional titles. Bodine-coached teams reached the Elite Eight in 2000, took third place in state in 2003 and were state runner-up in 1996.
Bodine has won the IHSBCA North Coach of The Year Award three times. He worked with the USA Baseball National team as a scout, assistant coach and head coach from 2000-200. In that span Team USA won four gold and three silver medals.
The Hall of Fame honor is long overdue, said PSHS Principal David Travis.
“Coach Bodine puts in countless hours of service towards our Cougar baseball program,” Travis said. “Perhaps the greatest testament I could share about Coach Bodine is that regardless of a particular player's given talent or role with the team, he gives each athlete his very best,” he said.
PSHS Athletic Director Bob Yanello agreed.
“There is no one better at teaching athletes both the physical and mental aspects of the game. He takes pride in how we play the game, but more importantly, how we present ourselves as a first class program,” Yanello said. “His relentless work ethic and commitment to the sport has earned him this honor.”
Bodine was completely surprised when a former player called to tell him he’d been inducted.
“To me, this is an award you may think about at the end of your career, so when it happens you’re totally blown away and excited,” he said. The recognition is extra special because he’s being inducted with several other coaches who he admires personally and professionally, he added.
“This is a testament to all the kids who have played for me over the years, who have done all the good work, and buy into what we do,” Bodine said.
To paraphrase the old “Saturday Night Live” skit, baseball has been very, very good to Bodine.
“The game can give you so much. It’s given me a lot in my life. I’ve traveled to Mexico, Venezuela, all over the United States. It’s given me so much joy over the years,” he said.
Yet, the greatest reward still comes – 23 years later – from the satisfaction of seeing hard work pay off, Bodine said.
“If you’re around the game and you put your heart and soul into the game, it’ll give so much back to you, as with anything in life," he added.