HARRISONBURG, VA. (WHSV) -- In many ways, sports can be measured in numbers. The resume for JMU baseball coach Spanky McFarland looks like this: 17 seasons, three NCAA tournament appearances and two conference titles. All with the Diamond Dukes.
Now he can add one more line to that list.
McFarland passed the 500 wins mark at JMU when the Dukes defeated Towson last Sunday. The head coach says he didn't think about the milestone until his players told him after the game. But winning in extra innings and having his son on the team made reaching the mark extra special.
"I'm proud of the fact that I've run a clean program and didn't bend any rules and every one of those 500 wins was earned and it was done the right way so I'm proud of that, “ McFarland said.
“And I'm not one that looks backwards. I'm always looking forward and I expect our players to move forward so I think it will mean more when I'm done coaching but right now as a coach, it's about the next game."
McFarland is now up to 501 wins after Tuesday's victory in Maryland. But he's not sure about winning another 500 games with James Madison.
"I've vowed to stay here until (I'm wanted) somewhere else and if that's this year, that's this year. If that's next year, two or three years, five years, I don't know,” McFarland said.
“I'm just listening but I know right now my job is to help these kids, just be there for them. Love them and help them to be the best that they can be."
McFarland also weighed in about the recent rash of injuries happening to base runners in Major League Baseball. Nationals' outfielder Bryce Harper is the latest victim after hurting his left thumb last week to complete a triple.
Harper is expected to be out until at least July. And with many young baseball players looking up to those in the major leagues, McFarland has a few words of advice.
"I think you just got to be smart and know the situation and know when it's appropriate,” McFarland said. “It's hard to really try and back a kid off from hustling because you admire that trait so much.”
“To watch them play it's just awesome to see as a coach."
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