- Associated Press - Saturday, May 13, 2017

WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) - Although he had two days left of coaching, Terry Edwards thought it was just going to be a normal game day. He went to the J.B. Chambers I-470 Field and was setting things up for Senior Day against West Liberty for a doubleheader on May 7.

What also happened came to his surprise as he was honored for all that he has done with coaching in the Ohio Valley, including throwing out the opening pitch to his son, Justin before Game 1. Edwards will be calling it quits after today as he will retire from being Wheeling Jesuit’s baseball coach after 13 years with the Cardinals and almost 40 years total.

“I was totally oblivious,” Edwards said. “I had no idea and then I saw my son grab the microphone and I should have figured it out because there was a lot of old faces that I had been involved with in the past all the way through high school and up. It was really heartfelt and much appreciated and I was very surprised.”

And it was certainly well-deserved. For almost 40 years, Edwards has been leaving his mark on the baseball diamond. His first shot at being a head baseball coach came in 1984 when he was at Wheeling Central.

Edwards was already coaching football, basketball and baseball too. With no surprise, Edwards had success with the Maroon Knights. At the helm, he lead Wheeling Central to more than 300 victories, as well as playing in eight state tournaments. In 1999 and 2000, the Maroon Knights won the West Virginia state championship.

“I got to coach my son for four years,” Edwards said. “We had some success where we played for the state championship for three out of four years and we won it back-to-back. I saw some of the guys on that team. It brought back some really good memories. But I’ll tell you what, I had a really good run. I have no regrets.”

Edwards will be the first to tell you when he was playing sports, his sport of choice was football. In fact, he went to West Liberty to play and was highly successful as a running back. During his junior and senior year, he led the Hilltoppers in rushing and secured the first 200-yard rushing game in school history in a 20-14 victory over West Virginia Wesleyan on Sept. 27, 1975.

West Liberty even presented him with two football jerseys at the beginning of the doubleheader.

“I was a football guy. And they needed a (baseball) coach at Wheeling Central in ‘84,” Edwards said. “Now I played the game only up until 15 because I went to Linsly Military and they didn’t have a baseball team at the time. But I really learned a lot from a lot of the guys in the valley here and I don’t know how I got entrenched in it, but I’ve been in it for a long time. I think it was neat to be able to coach your son and still keep that relationship there. The football thing was me in college and all that stuff. But I had my fill with all kind of athletics.”

In 2005, Edwards made his way to the collegiate level for coaching as he started the baseball program at Wheeling Jesuit.. It was also a learning process for Edwards as there were many different things than there were at the high school level. Edwards, however did find some early success.

“It was really neat. The recruiting thing was really new,” Edwards said. “I don’t believe in getting re-enthused. I don’t believe in getting re-dedicated. It’s either you are or you aren’t. But there is something to be said for a different challenge. And it’s been a challenge. The third year in existence, I thought we had things figured out where we played for the conference championship. Ever since then, we weren’t able to get over the hump and finish the last weekend of the season.”

In the end, Edwards found something that he loved to do. Most importantly, he found something that he loved to do at home as he grew up in the Ohio Valley. He got to share that experience with the ones he can call friends and family.

“I always tell our guys and the coaching fraternity ‘We’re vampires,’” Edwards said. “We stay young because we’re surrounded by young people and we feed off of them. I’ve been very fortunate to maintain the passion and the motivation and the guidance from the get-go. But 41 years, that’s good enough for me.”

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