Baldwin to be honored Friday

WATERFORD – Doug Baldwin has a luncheon date with destiny Friday.

On that day, at 12:30 p.m., at the Hilton Columbus at Easton Town Center, the longtime Waterford Wildcats’ softball coach will be honored and inducted into the Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

“I’m definitely humbled by being selected to the Hall of Fame,” said the 43-year-old Baldwin, who currently owns a 290-164 career mark in 20 years at the Waterford softball helm.

During that time, he has guided the Wildcats to six league championships, 11 sectional crowns and one district title. Last spring, the Cats were a district finalist with a 15-9 overall mark. (Waterford was eliminated by No. 7-ranked Portsmouth Notre Dame.)

“I’ve had 20 years of a lot of good Waterford kids to work with, and I’ve been fortunate to have some good coaches at my side,” Baldwin said. “You can’t be successful without any of that.”

Baldwin said he was nominated for the Hall of Fame by rival coach Barb Sleek of Fort Frye.

“I’m very grateful to her,” Baldwin said.

When Baldwin begins his 21st season as the Waterford frontman this spring, he will need 10 Wildcat softball victories to achieve milestone 300.

“I’ll be very disappointed if we don’t win that many games,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin said he will have several players back from last season, including junior pitcher Laura Hill.

A 1987 Waterford graduate, Baldwin played football in high school. Later, he returned to his prep alma mater, and was the Wildcat gridiron coach for 13 years.

Along with coaching softball and football, Baldwin was the school’s athletic director for four years.

After high school graduation, Baldwin attended Ohio Northern University in Ada, where he received his diploma in 1991.

He has been employed by the Wolf Creek Local School District for 21 years. During that span, he’s taught seventh and eighth grade science and high school industrial technology.

Currently, Baldwin is the Waterford Elementary School principal.

Baldwin will be attending the Hall of Fame ceremony with his wife of 15 years Joanna, and three daughters – Emma (12), Claire (6) and Maggie (3).

“My mom, three sisters, and brother will be there, too, along with several people from Waterford,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin has served as either the southeast district softball president or vice-president for the past 14 years, and he’s also been a Division IV poll voter during that time.

Baldwin is also involved in the Wolf Creek Summer Softball Association and Waterford Girls Youth Basketball Association.

During his free time, he enjoys woodworking and coaching his daugthers in various sports.