Cahill Reflects On His Long Tenure As Head Coach


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Cahill Reflects On His Long Tenure As Head Coach

TIPP CITY - Winning his 700th game as a coach earlier this season did not really bring the longevity of what Bruce Cahill has done to fruition. But another accomplishment helped bring out what he has achieved.

“Tonight’s my 1,000th game,” the Tippecanoe head baseball coach said back in late April prior to a game with Troy. “That puts it in perspective.”

Although his squad lost that night, there have been far more wins than defeats for the Tippecanoe mentor, who currently has a career record of 708-295.

“I’ve coached a long time,” reflected the 38-year veteran coach. “I love the game and I love being around kids. I’ve been fortunate all these years to have been around a lot of good kids that love baseball. We’ve never made it to state, but we’ve gotten to regionals a bunch. Anytime you get that far, it’s because of the kids.”

There is one thing that stands out even more than all the wins for Cahill.

“What I’m most proud of are the relationships I’ve had with the kids over the years,” noted Cahill. “They’re the ones that keep me young.”

Now 63 years of age, Cahill was head coach at Carlisle for two years before taking over the program at Tippecanoe in 1986.

“I remember some of the kids I had,” Cahill said in looking back at his time as a coach. “A couple of their kids have played for me.”

Admittedly, the beginning was not as successful as what was to come.

“We weren’t very good my first couple of years,” Cahill pointed out. “But the group in 1988 turned it around and we took off from there.”

It has been a memorable ride.

“I’ve been to some of these kids’ weddings,” Cahill said. “A lot of relationships were built over the years. I remember the coaches. Some of these guys have been great role models for me.”

Tom Randall at Kenton Ridge; Bob Brenning at Urbana; Rick Gold at Piqua; Chuck Harlow at Northmont and Brookville; and Frosty Brown at Bethel and Troy are a few of the coaches that stand out whom Cahill has gone against. Brown even coached Cahill before the two hooked up in opposite dugouts as head coaches.

What Cahill has learned from the other mentors and his own experiences during all these years has, hopefully, had a lasting effect on others.

“The reason why we teach and do what we do is that some day the guys we had are going to have kids,” Cahill said. “We want them to go out and coach their kids the right way.”

There is more that the long-time mentor hopes to be remembered for when all is said and done.

“The number one thing I hope is seen in our program is consistency,” Cahill related. “We haven’t had a losing season since 1994. Another thing is that we have kids that play hard every day. We stress that. But consistency over the years is the big thing.

“There are a lot of programs around like that,” Cahill continued. “It’s what we all strive for. We put in a lot of time trying to make it happen. I guess that’s why it’s so exhausting.”

Adding to the challenges is that players are different today than in the past.

“We had kids that loved the game back then and we still have that, but we have more kids now that don’t play summer ball,” Cahill explained. “We have soccer kids, they’re successful in their own sport. They’re athletes, but it’s what these kids don’t know about the game. I don’t think kids watch games any more, or even go to games. They don’t know the game or have the instincts of kids from the past.

“But we do have kids that want to play beyond high school. You really like to coach for those guys.”

How long Cahill stays in the game is an uncertainty right now. But a 16-2 record this season helps make it all still enjoyable.

“Paperwork and fundraising and the classes you’ve got to take … if I could just show up and practice every day,” Cahill assessed about the good and bad things of being a coach today. “I love being around the game and the kids. But at some point, maybe I’ll just be someone’s assistant. I’ll say ‘there, it’s yours. If you want my help, I will.’ After that it will be up to them.”

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A Look Back At The Last Decade:

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A Look Back At The 2018 Season:

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A Look Back At The 2017 Season:

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