Prep Softball: Southeastern’s Delaney earns 500th career victory

Southeastern High School softball coach Randy "Tojo" Delaney speaks to the crowd during a ceremony honoring his 500th victory before their game against Triad on Monday evening at South Charleston Park. Michael Cooper/CONTRIBUTED
Southeastern High School softball coach Randy "Tojo" Delaney speaks to the crowd during a ceremony honoring his 500th victory before their game against Triad on Monday evening at South Charleston Park. Michael Cooper/CONTRIBUTED

SOUTH CHARLESTON — When Randy “Tojo” Delaney took over the Southeastern High School softball program in 1987, he never dreamed he’d still be coaching 33 seasons later.

“I figured I would be the fourth coach in four years and the next year there’d be a fifth coach in five years because I’d be one and done too,” he said, “and here I am still doing it.”

Now, he’s joined one of the most exclusive clubs in Ohio softball history.

The Trojans beat Shekinah Christian 17-2 on Saturday to give Delaney his 500th career win.

“This has been a goal for the last couple years that I’ve set out for,” Delaney said. “Last year definitely put doubts in my mind as life is going on. You turn the big 6-0 and you wonder how long you hang. Missing out on last year’s season made me wonder if I would make it.”

With the victory, Delaney became the 17th softball coach in Ohio history to win 500 or more career games. He’s currently second all-time in coaching victories in Clark County softball history, sitting just 13 wins shy of Northwestern’s Nancy Dutton (513 wins).

Delaney was honored before Monday’s game against Triad. He was joined on the field by former Trojan athletic directors and assistant coaches.

The 500 victories are the most by any coach in Southeastern school history.

“You have to be the hardest worker of anybody in your program and there’s nobody around here that won’t confirm just how hard Tojo works,” said former Southeastern Athletic Director Kirk Martin.

Delaney and his wife Lorie were also there to support the players, on and off the field, Martin said.

“If you were in the play or played another sport, if you did anything, he was there and Lorie was right there with him every step of the way,” Martin said. “He conveyed so much more than just being your softball coach.”

The love of the game kept him coming back each year, Delaney said, especially as he’s gotten closer and closer to the coveted 500-win club. He also has a flexible job that allows him to focus on coaching during the spring, he said.

“I was fortunate that my job allowed me to return,” Delaney said. “When you get there and you can start smelling that you’re that close, you say, ‘I can’t quit just yet’.”

Through Saturday’s game, Delaney has a career record of 500-271. During his tenure, the Trojans have won eight league championships, six district titles and made three appearances in the regional finals. He’s watched the sport grow over the years, especially as more and more athletes play competitive softball year-round.

“I was handed a lot of good athletes,” Delaney said. “When we started, if you had a kid that could pitch and you could put five good athletes around them, you’d have one heck of a ball club. It’s not that way today.”

During the celebration, Delaney acknowledged all of the people who helped him over the years.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he said.

Clark County Prep Softball All-Time Coaching Victories

Nancy Dutton, Northwestern 513

Randy “Tojo” Delaney, Southeastern* 500

Ed Foulk, Kenton Ridge 462

Greg Newland, Springfield South 400

Missy Johnson, Northwestern 367

Doug Skinner, Catholic Central 328

*Active

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