Shiner's Boedeker reaches 300-win milestone
June 15, 2017 at 9:45 p.m.
Updated June 16, 2017 at 6 a.m.
SHINER - Shiner coach Daniel Boedeker has spent the first few weeks of summer vacation the way he usually does.
Boedeker has watched Little League games, held his baseball camp, and he will travel to Round Rock on Friday to watch son, Ty, play in Saturday's Texas High School Baseball Coaches all-star game at Dell Diamond.
But this offseason is different for Boedeker, 43, who won his 300th game when the Comanches defeated Granger in the Class 2A bi-district playoffs.
"I never really paid attention to that," Boedeker said. "You go into one season and you want to go as far as you can and get to that ultimate goal which is very tough. My thing in judging success is not only on the wins and losses. It's where were we from Day 1 until those kids left."
Boedeker isn't spouting platitudes.
He didn't realize he had reached his latest milestone until after the season and never bothered to tell his wife, Nicole, who found out when Ty had other team members sign a baseball for Daniel.
"He has a love for the game and a love for the kids that's evident every day," said Garet Pustka, who played for Boedeker at Shiner and is now his varsity assistant. "He cares for them on the field and away from baseball. You are always welcome back. That's something I felt as a player and now I see coming back as a coach."
Boedeker planned to coach when he played high school baseball at Shiner and during his college career at Sam Houston State.
"Coming out of high school and going into college, that was the one thing I wanted to do and I never changed my mind on it," he said. "I just pushed forward and made that my goal to become a high school coach."
Boedeker worked as an assistant under Tom DeBerry at Dayton, former Shiner teammate Eric Winkenwerder at Gonzales, and current Shiner athletic director, head football coach and head softball coach Steven Cerny.
"It didn't matter what sport I coached," Boedeker said. "I still wanted to be the best I could and learn from people. That's what's important to always stay successful is to look for that little bit more you can do to get better."
Boedeker won a state championship as a player in 1992.
He pitched a perfect game in the regional final, was the winning pitcher in the state semifinal game, and earned a save in the state final.
He won a state championship as Cerny's assistant coach in 2002.
Boedeker completed the rare trifecta by leading Shiner to the 2004 state championship in his first season as a head coach.
"It was a lot more stressful as a coach," Boedeker said. "As a player, you feel like you're in control of things and that's what you want to go do. I still remember that day, being out there and winning it with my teammates. As a coach, you know how much time and planning and effort has to go into that deal."
Boedeker has evolved with the times, but his coaching philosophy of stressing pitching and defense remains the same.
"Every year is different even if you have kids coming back from the previous year," he said. "Sometimes you get surprises, sometimes kids stay the same. You hope they get a little better every year and a majority of the time they do.
"I heard a coach say it's like a hand," he added. "Your thumb is the most important part. Those are the really good guys. You've got to get the fingers to match up to that level. That's where you have to put in a little extra time. You have to figure out the best spots for those kids to play."
Boedeker has enjoyed the 300 wins, but admits the 111 losses have lingered longer, including this season's area playoff loss to Evadale.
"Those are the ones that stick with me," he said. "Those are what make you a better coach. It makes you learn from those situations. You ask yourself, 'Why did we lose and could I have done something different?'" So the next time that situation comes, you may have the opportunity to do something different."
Boedeker has coached for 20 seasons and has no intention of stopping anytime soon.
"This is what I'm doing and I enjoy doing it, and I'm going to do it as long as I can," he said. "One year's over, and you start looking to the next one."
Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or email@example.com.