Augie Garrido can’t remember his first win as a collegiate coach. Not to say that’s surprising — it happened more than 40 years ago at San Francisco State.
But he has an opportunity this weekend to win his 1,800th game when the Longhorns face Oklahoma, a win he’ll find much harder to forget. He knows it won’t just be another win.
“I would be wrong to say that it’s just another game because then it would belong to me. But it belongs to everyone, and it reflects on the extraordinary people that I’ve worked with and the extraordinary players that have played over a long period of time and the level of consistency and commitment teamwork requires,” Garrido said. “For me to say, ‘It’s just another day,’ in my mind, is turning my back on all those other people that made it possible.”
And there have been a lot of people. Garrido has coached at five different schools over the years and compartmentalizes the people he’s worked with and coached.
“You almost have to keep it in groups,” he said. “The academy award show would be short compared to all the people I have to thank.”
He can thank Taylor Jungmann for 30 of those wins, and the junior will have first crack at getting Garrido his 1,800th.
“We’ll make sure we get him that win,” Jungmann said. “It just speaks to how good a coach he is.”
Oklahoma won’t go down without a fight. The Sooners lead the Big 12 in batting with a .334 average and have 32 home runs on the year, compared to the Texas’ seven. The Longhorns aren’t a power-hitting team, so it’ll be important for them to play their style.
“We just need to play our game and get the leadoff runner on and get him to the next base and have timely hitting,” third baseman Alex Silver said. “If we can do that, we’ll do pretty well this weekend.”
Cole Green will start Saturday for Texas, but Garrido said he didn’t yet know who would start
Sunday. Sam Stafford has taken the mound on Sunday the past several weeks for the Longhorns, but struggled last weekend in Kansas. Andrew McKirahan pitched well in practice this week, which could give Garrido the option of moving Hoby Milner into the Sunday spot and bring McKirahan out of the bullpen.
“We’re really trying to find one more pitcher to add to what we have, and McKirahan put himself in position to pitch if we need him this weekend,” Garrido said.
He said he would make his decision after Saturday’s game, based on who played.
If Texas does win this weekend, giving Garrido his 1,800th, the coach knows it won’t have been him alone winning all those games.
“This is a total team sport; no one can really measure who deserves the most credit for it,” Garrido said. “But I would assume that probably the players do. It belongs to everyone, and I give thanks to everyone. I represent a lot of people, and those people are a collage of what I’ve become.”