It is often said that talent, heart and teamwork are the biggest factors for teams to win ballgames, but no team can have the kind of run that the Greenville Bears are on without a great manager.
Losing is just part of baseball because over the course of the season a team fields 6 or 7 different pitchers and just one off day by your hitters, fielders or pitchers and your team adds another game to the loss column. Even more so in high school sports where every year has a different set of players to coach, a coach/manager is crucial to the success of a consistent program.
Teams often talk in terms of “being above 500” for a successful season, meaning they’ve won at least one more game than they’ve lost. The 2015 St Louis Cardinals were 39 games above 500 when they racked up 100 wins and 62 losses (.617 average), and the year before they went 90 and 72 (.556). When comparing win-loss records, one can see how remarkable these Bears have been during the three years of Coach Jeff Null at the helm with 102 wins and 23 losses (.816 average).
It’s even more impressive to break it down into seasons and show that 15 of those losses came in Coach Null’s first year (31 – 15, .673 avg), seven of the losses came in his second year (39 – 7, .848 avg), and, to date, only 1 loss has occurred in his third year of coaching (32-1, .970 avg). That last stat is worth stating again: over a 3-month fall season and two months into the spring season, the Greenville Bears have only lost one game in 33 contests.
Greenville has fielded good teams by good coaches in the past, but Greenville has never seen the kind of success displayed over these past three years. Coach Null is quick to point to the talent he’s been allowed to coach, but for a team to celebrate their coach’s 100th win in under 3 years is monumental and a testament to his leadership. At a .816 winning percentage, Coach Jeff Null is the Winningest Coach in Greenville’s History.