Skip Wilson logged a significant number of victories in his 46 years at the helm of Temple baseball, but when he looks back he says he doesn't think about the wins.
And maybe that's what made the former coach - who retired after the 2006 season - so special.
Temple plays its home games at the school's Ambler campus. Last May, the school named the baseball facility "Skip Wilson Field" because of his 1,034 victories - the most for any coach, in any sport at the school. Because of the lives he's influenced - more than 100 Wilson-coached players have played professionally. And because he led Temple to 14 NCAA Tournaments, 10 conference championships, and two College World Series appearances (1972, '77).
And before tomorrow's 1 p.m. matchup with Saint Louis, "Skip Wilson Day" will be held at the field to honor the former coach.
"I'm very honored [Temple] will be doing this for me," said Wilson, who lives near the Ambler campus. "I've been [to the field] a few times, but this is a big day for me and my family.
"My family will be coming in from all over the country . . . my grandkids, neighbors - they're all very proud."
But Wilson reminisces more about teaching players the game of baseball, rather than his own numbers.
"I look back and say I really enjoyed my time," Wilson said. "I can remember various things that happened, but I never had one boy with a serious problem.
"I would say if you don't have fun while playing, why play? It's the same with coaching. I had fun teaching the boys."
Wilson, who graduated from Temple in 1958, also knows about the importance of college and making friends while there.
"I think it's important a boy goes to school and develops friendships he will never lose," he said.
Apparently, one friend the players have kept in their phone books is their former coach.
"A lot of [former players] call me and see how things are going," Wilson said, noting that Owls alum and ex-major league catcher John Marzano, formerly of Comcast SportsNet and now an analyst with MLB.com, recently called and accompanied him to an Astros-Phillies game.
"Many have called, but there is no call I like more than when they'll call saying [college] was the best 4 years of their life."
The former coach refuses to comment on the team's new coach, Rob Valli, insisting that no coach is the same.
"Everybody has their own style," Wilson said. "I had a different style of coaching and communicating than most coaches."
That he did. And that's why Skip Wilson has a field named after him. *