CMU softball coach marks 700 wins with family in the dugout

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FAYETTE - Every coach wants to be successful and for Central Methodist softball coach Pat Reardon, he's made it a habit.

"To look back on it and win 700 games is quite a bit," he said.

After almost 25 years and over 1,100 games, Reardon passed the milestone in March, at the beginning of the 2017 season.

"I appreciate all the praise I've gotten from other coaches, from my staff, from my faculty, from the administration. All that's been good recognition but it's about this group of kids and getting them to another conference championship and beyond," Reardon said. 

He's the winningest coach in Heart of America Athletic Conference history, but now, the team's sights are set on the postseason. The Eagles are going for their seventh straight Heart of America Athletic Conference championship this year. 

"The biggest difference in those last seven years has been my dad. He came on as a part-time coach and now is a recruiting coordinator and there's a direct correlation to when he came here to where we're at now," Reardon said.

Reardon's father, Gene Reardon, is only one piece of the puzzle. 

Addy Reardon joined her father and grandfather at Central Methodist last year.

"It's probably hardest on her. Just to have grandpa and have dad with you the whole time, she probably feels a weight more than anybody else can see," Reardon said.

 Addy Reardon said the transition from daughter to player has been an easy one.

"I think last year I proved myself and I think this year I'm doing the same thing. But my dad doesn't treat me any different than he does any other player," Addy Reardon said. 

She said her dad keeps the coaching attitude but still offers her words of encouragement only a father can give. 

"He came over to me and was like, 'I just want to have a dad moment with you and tell you I love you and I'm proud of how you played today, and that's all I have to say,' and he just walked away," she said.

Even with three generations in one clubhouse, Addy Reardon said it hasn't been a distraction from the team's goals.

"We depend a lot on each other so whenever one person is not doing well, we try to pick that person up because if it's one person down then the rest of the team gets down. We have a super close group so I think that's helped a lot," she said. 

The Eagles wrap up their regular season and set their sights on conference championship number seven in May.