CALAIS.Maine — If Greg Smith had his way, he would prefer that no one — maybe including himself — know that he had reached 300 career victories as coach of the Calais High School softball team.
The milestone victory came Monday night in a 7-1 victory in Lincoln over Mattanawcook Academy.
“Not a lot of people knew about it,” he said. “I didn’t want a lot of people to know about it because it is a milestone, but it’s all about the kids.”
That’s typical of Smith, said Calais Athletic Director Randy Morrison.
“He’s great [as a coach], and he’s one of our better teachers at school, too,” said Morrison.
Smith, who is in his 21st season as the Calais coach, only discovered he was closing in on the mark because of a moment of curiosity.
He decided to see how many wins and losses the team has had while he has been the coach.
“It was just more for statistics than anything else,” he said. “We needed seven more this year.”
His record now stands at 301-57 after Thursday’s 5-4 victory over Washington Academy of East Machias.
Smith credited the players for their work in getting the wins more than his coaching.
“If I didn’t have the student-athletes we’ve had over the last 21 years, none of it would be possible,” he said.
Smith also started from zero when it came to knowledge of fast-pitch softball, said Morrison.
“He got some tapes and learned how to fast pitch and how to do the fundamentals, and he’s gone from there,” said Morrison.
“He’s well organized, he has all the kids sweating and he’s always positive,” said Morrison.
Smith makes sure people know he doesn’t do it alone, that assistant coach Brenda Batson has been with him from the start.
“She’s been right there with me,” said Smith. “It wouldn’t be right for me not to mention her name because without her there helping me out, we wouldn’t have accomplished this.”
Smith had no idea when he started coaching that he’d still be at it 21 years later.
“I didn’t think I’d be doing it this long,” he admitted, laughing. “But then of course, when you have a girl and she’s the only child, and you like softball [and] get her into liking softball, I knew I would be coaching softball until she was through.”
Smith’s daughter is sophomore starting pitcher Olivia Smith, so he has at least two years left.
“I would like to think that if I’m still as enthusiastic about it as I am [now] and still enjoy it, that hopefully I can be there a few more years,” he said.
Morrison won’t argue against it.
“We’re lucky to have him. He’s great at what he does,” said Morrison.