Plainfield South’s Phil Bodine entering Hall of Fame
From Submitted Reports December 12, 2012 9:48PM
Updated: January 14, 2013 7:19AM
Baseball has taken Plainfield South’s Phil Bodine all over the world.
Now, it’s taking him to the Hall of Fame.
Bodine, the Cougars’ baseball coach, has been selected to the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He will be inducted at a ceremony and dinner Jan. 26.
The award recognizes “those who have provided selfless efforts and long-standing commitments to improve Illinois high school baseball,” according to a statement from the IHSBCA.
Bodine is in his 23rd year coaching and also teaches physical education. He coached and taught at Mendota and York high schools before coming to Plainfield South in 2009. His teams have compiled a record of 470-285, including 81-57 at South.
In his career, 15 of Bodine’s 22 teams have won 20 or more games. His teams have won four regional titles and four sectional titles. Bodine-coached teams reached the Elite Eight in 2000, finished third in 2003 and second in 1996.
Bodine has won the IHSBCA North Coach of The Year Award three times.
He worked with the USA Baseball National team as a scout, assistant coach and head coach beginning in 2000. During that time, Team USA won four gold and three silver medals.
“Coach Bodine puts in countless hours of service toward our Cougar baseball program,” South principal David Travis said. “Perhaps the greatest testament I could share about Coach Bodine is that regardless of a particular player’s given talent or role with the team, he gives each athlete his very best.”
“There is no one better at teaching athletes both the physical and mental aspects of the game,” South ahtletic director Bob Yanello said. “He takes pride in how we play the game, but more importantly, how we present ourselves as a first-class program. His relentless work ethic and commitment to the sport has earned him this honor.”
Bodine was surprised when a former player called to tell him the news.
“To me, this is an award you may think about at the end of your career, so when it happens you’re totally blown away and excited,” he said. The recognition is extra special because he’s being inducted with several other coaches who he admires personally and professionally, he added.
“This is a testament to all the kids who have played for me over the years, who have done all the good work, and buy into what we do,” Bodine said.
To paraphrase the old “Saturday Night Live” skit, baseball has been very, very good to Bodine.
“The game can give you so much. It’s given me a lot in my life. I’ve traveled to Mexico, Venezuela, all over the United States. It’s given me so much joy over the years,” he said.
Yet, the greatest reward still comes — 23 years later — from the satisfaction of seeing hard work pay off, Bodine said.
“If you’re around the game and you put your heart and soul into the game, it’ll give so much back to you, as with anything in life,” he said.