On March 26, Hendersonville baseball skipper Mike Hendrix etched is name in school history, earning win No. 600 as a Commando.
Hendrix, who has been head coach of the team since 1989, joined the Hendersonville baseball staff under Bob White in 1984. Since the 6-0 victory over Lebanon, Hendrix and the Commandos have tallied four more wins to bring the ol’ ball coach to 604 total victories.
Hendrix, who is a 1971 graduate from Overton High School and a 1971 state champion with the Bobcats, was very humble regarding the milestone victory.
“Man, I’ve been here a long time,” Hendrix said of his initial reaction when finding out he won game No. 600. “I knew after last year that I was close, and after we beat Lebanon, coach Andy Gilley pitched me the game ball and told me that was No. 600. I’m very proud of this accomplishment, but I have to give a lot of other people the credit for this.
“You can’t win games without good players and good coaches around you. My assistant coaches have never wanted my job, only to help me do my job to the best of my ability and I am grateful for that. I am very blessed; the good Lord has been good to me. I also give my wife a lot of credit for this as well. She started with me on this journey and has been with me every step of the way.”
Helenmary Hendrix passed away suddenly on December 30, 2017. The two were married for 34 years. Coach Hendrix was brief in saying that his 600th win was for her.
“I was very blessed to have her by my side the whole way,” he said. “We got married in 1984 and she was around for all the wins, including No. 500. I played for her that day against Lebanon.”
The Hendrix’s raised two children together, Benjamin and Rachel. Benjamin has pursued his calling of going into ministry, while Rachel is currently working on her doctorate in agriculture from Mississippi State University.
Coach Hendrix is currently in his 30th season as head baseball coach for Hendersonville and says he couldn’t be prouder of every single kid that has come through his dugout.
“Listen, at the end of the day it is about the Jimmies and Joes,” he said. “I’m proud of every kid that I have ever coached that has come through our program that has made something of their life. Whether that is a star baseball player, a productive member in our society or a good father. I’m proud of them all as if they were my own.”
Hendrix and his Commandos have enjoyed many successful seasons during the spring season including making the state tournament five years and twice making it to the final game. Hendrix and his Commandos are still looking to be the last team standing, but at the end of the day, he and everyone else knows how good of a coach he has been to his teams.
“I’m truly a blessed guy,” he added. “We’ve had some great kids come through this program and I am only as good as the nine guys I stick on the field.”
Hendrix remains humble, saying he wouldn’t be where he is today without the support of not only his assistant coaches, but their families as well.
“Harold Herman, Clay Sanders, Andy Gilley, Ethan White and their families have just as much to do with this success as I do,” he added. “Without them I wouldn’t be the coach I am today.”
Hendrix, 66 years young, admits he still loves the game of baseball and still loves being around his guys saying he still loves the game just as much as he did as a 17-year-old senior catcher winning the state title at Overton.
Since writing this story, Hendersonville picked up two wins against Wilson Central and Goodpasture putting Hendrix at 606 wins.
The Commandos are back in action Tuesday against district foe Gallatin at Drakes Creek Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.