DANVILLE — “He taught us to believe in ourselves,” said former Danville Blue Devils’ starting pitcher Baihley Presley about Danville softball coach Mike Beheler. Presley was on the Danville team that marched to the state title in 2008 with Beheler at the helm.
Beheler notched his 300th career victory as a high school softball coach with Tuesday’s win at Pleasant High School. Three hundred wins is a milestone that gives many a chance to look back over the long career of a man who continues to touch many lives and has taught much more than the finer points of the game of softball.
For Beheler, who started coaching in 1991, the road was not always smooth, but it was always paved with plenty of wins. When you add up the years at Danville, his three years as coach at Reynoldsburg along with his two-year coaching hiatus in 2010 and 2011, Beheler’s win pace is rather remarkable.
“The first six or seven years we were only playing 13, 14 or 15 game a year,” said Beheler. “Now, you play 27. Those early years — back in the early ’90s — there were only four winning MBC teams.”
“He got us to play together as a team,” said Presley. “There are a lot of teams where you have cliques, but he didn’t let that happen.”
Most of all, he has taught his girls to win on the field and be winners off the field.
“I remember that, when he would win, he was in a great mood for practice — it wasn’t nearly as hard,” said Kelly Buckland, a starting centerfielder for the Blue Devils from 1997 to 2000. “When we would lose, he would, pretty much, run us a lot.”
“Sometimes, I run them,” chuckled Beheler. “But any coach would do that. If they are going to make mistakes, and they are going to keep making them over and over again, you’ve got to punish them — any coach will tell you that.”