The 300-Game Club

It has been a banner year for Moravian coaches who have crossed a magic line by winning 300 games in their coaching careers.

Joining an elite group led by Harvey Gillespie, who coached baseball (1935-74), and Jim Walker, menís basketball coach, who got to 300 wins in 2002, were Mary Beth Spirk, whose 300th win in womenís basketball came in January; Ed Little, who saw his 300th winning baseball game March 27; and John Byrne í82, who chalked up his 300th softball win against Methodist College in LaGrange, Ga., on March 13.

The Methodist game was the teamís first game in the Gold Bracket of the 2004 National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III.

In his first 11 seasons as head coach for Moravian sotball, Byrne has guided the Greyhounds to a 333-117 record, seven NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament berths, four Middle Atlantic Conference playoffs, four Commonwealth Conference playoff berths, six Commonwealth Conference Championships, and, of course, its first-ever NCAA Division III World Series, where the Greyhounds finished as runners-up. Byrne was named Commonwealth Conference Coach of the Year in 2000, 2002, and 2004.

Byrneís teams have won at least 23 games in each of his seasons, including a 23-8 tally in his debut season (1994). Six of those 11 teams have topped the 30-win plateau, including the 2004 squad, which at 40-6 set a school record for victories in any sport. Byrne also has guided the Greyhounds to post-season play in each of the last 10 years with MAC playoff berths in 1995-97 and 2000; Commonwealth Conference tournaments every year since 2001; and NCAA Division III National Championship Tournaments every year since 1998.

Coach Littleís 300-game win was the first game of a Commonwealth Conference doubleheader against Lebanon Valley College.

Little has been Moravianís head baseball coach since 1983. He led the 1990 squad to the MAC championship. His 1986 and 1992 teams won the MAC Southern Division title, each winning 18 games.

The 2004 squad reached the Commonwealth Conference Tournament for the second consecutive year, battling back through the loserís bracket to play Juniata College for the conference championship. The squad came up short in the championship contest and finished the season at 15-22.

 

Ed Little, Mary Beth Spirk, and John Byrne were given a surprise party at Starters Pub to celebrate their membership in the 300-win club.

Photo: Christopher Elston/Express-Times