Steve West Chesapeake Coach-of-the-Year 2013
Steve West from Indian River High School
Coach Steve West is an educator and baseball coach at Indian River High School. Coach West grew up in Chesapeake where he played baseball for and graduated from Great Bridge High School. Coach West continued his baseball career at Ferrum College where he excelled collegiately and was named 2nd Team All-Conference as a 2nd baseman. After his sophomore year Coach West transferred to Lynchburg College. He completed his collegiate career at Lynchburg and was again named All-Conference as a 2nd baseman. That Lynchburg team made it to the NCAA Div. II & III Regionals and finished with a record of 28-2. Coach West’s lifetime college batting average was .340. Coach West graduated from Lynchburg College in 1977 with his Bachelor of Science degree.
“Stevie” West has been a fixture for 29 years at Indian River High School, teaching the game of baseball to its student-athletes in his unique manner which has produced 450 wins over his career. His teams have won 8 District titles, made 9 regional appearances including Regional Runner-Up in 2009 and the VA AAA State Quarterfinals in 2009. He is one of the top five all-time and active winningest coaches in the State of Virginia.
Coach West has developed over 75 players who went on to compete on college and university fields at the Division I and Division II collegiate level. More than 100 of his former athletes have competed at the Division III college baseball level.
Tonight, he is being honored for the teaching, coaching and mentoring skills he displayed during the 2012 baseball season in the Southeastern District. His very young team, only one senior among the starting nine, began its season losing its first 4 games badly. Typically, in the Southeastern District, an 0 and 4 start generally means a finish at the bottom of the standings.
Coach West did not treat his youthful team from a panic perspective. To quote him, “I knew they would make mistakes in the beginning. I was more concerned with how big of a toll a slow start would take from our team.” According to Coach West, “After getting a few wins under our belts and a lot of repetitions, things started to click.”
The next quote typifies why Steve West enjoys such as strong love/hate relationship with his players, whom he pushes and from whom he expects excellence in application and effort. “The character and perseverance of the team members took over and we were able to string together enough wins to make the playoffs….” Indian River’s baseball team indeed strung together a 13 win, 3 loss streak, rebounding from its atrocious start, and was one stroke of a bat from advancing further to the Eastern Regional tournament.
Coach West rallied his players, taught them to learn from their mistakes, and orchestrated a positive outcome from a very adverse situation. He is a true role model and a teacher of young student athletes.