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Schmitt makes Wall baseball history

May 10, 2012

Wall manager picks up 256th career victory on Monday vs. Mon Don

WALL TOWNSHIP — With the Crimson Knights’ 8-4 triumph over Monsignor Donovan on Monday afternoon, manager Todd Schmitt became Wall baseball’s all-time winningest coach by recording his 256th victory.

Schmitt, who is in his 15th season, passed Harry Madsen, the Crimson Knights’ coach from 1970-1990.

The current Wall manager spoke with much admiration for the man he jumped past in the records book, as it was Madsen who gave Schmitt his first high school baseball coaching job as a junior varsity [JV] coach at Wall in the late ’80s.

“Harry got my foot in the door,” said Schmitt, a part-time physical education teacher at the high school at the time. “We had always talked baseball and when he saw I was back teaching, he stopped me in the hall and asked me if I wanted to coach the JV team. He is a great guy and I have a lot of respect for him. I learned a lot about the game from Harry.”

In over 20 years with the program [15 as manager], Schmitt has helped guide Wall to two state titles in 1994 and 2004, two Shore Conference Tournament titles in 2003 and 2004 and three Monmouth County Champions in 1995, 2004 and 2005.

“The accomplishment is a testimony to his coaching and the way he runs his program,” Wall athletic director Thomas Ridoux said in regard to Schmitt recording 256 victories. “He has been so consistent over the past 15 years. He has produced good teams year after year.”

Schmitt passed around credit for the accomplishment, thanking all those around him for their hand in his personal success.

“When you talk about 15 years it seems like a long time, but baseball-wise, it feels like just yesterday [I started],” he said. “Coach Roch[ford, Schmitt’s assistant coach] and I started this together.

“We have been very fortunate to get great, talented kids come through the program year after year,” he continued. “That makes the job easy. We have gotten a lot of support from the school and the community.”

Schmitt has not put a timetable on how long he will stay with the Crimson Knights’ program. Right now, he is just enjoying each day he steps out onto the baseball field.

“I’m taking it a year at a time,” he said.

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