In the midst of the best start in Purdue baseball history at 28-5, head coach Doug Schreiber has become the program’s all-time winningest leader.
His Big Ten-leading Boilermakers are ranked 18th in the nation. The team’s series sweep of Illinois (18-16, 3-6) at Lambert Field over the weekend was enough to move him ahead of his former coach Dave Alexander with 408 wins as the team’s skipper.
After his team awarded him and the media with a chilling Gatorade bath down the third base line, Schreiber elaborated on what the milestone win means to him and the program.
”I have a lot of respect for coach Alexander so part of me hates to pass him,” Schreiber said. “But that wasn’t the focus as much as getting the Big Ten sweep and continuing to put ourselves in a position for an at-large bid to regionals. We haven’t clinched anything yet. That’s what I keep telling the guys. That’s just a simple reminder and they understand how close we’ve been the last couple years.”
Schreiber started at shortstop for four years under Alexander from 1983-86 at Purdue. He still owns Purdue’s career record for walks (132), is third in games played (220) and ranks fourth in runs.
Schreiber surrounds himself and his team with former Purdue baseball players.
”He bleeds black and gold,” assistant coach Tristan McIntyre said. “There’s a loyalty there that is unmatched. We both played here and have that extra passion for the university. To do what he’s done for over 14 years now is incredible. He’s really turned this program into a consistent one, year in and year out.”
After winning a program-record 37 games last season before falling short of a Big Ten championship, this year’s team has its sights set on winning the program’s first conference title since 1909. Schreiber has achieved a record of 408-353 during his time as head coach.
Whether the team is getting a little too confident and high on themselves or is down in the dumps, Schreiber manages to neutralize it in order for the team to keep a level head.
”No matter what the team’s feeling, he offsets that,” senior pitcher Calvin Gunter said. “I think that’s why we’ve been so consistent over the past few years and even throughout his entire career as a coach here. When the team get’s high he balances it out and makes sure we stay focused. When there’s times where we could be down on ourselves and scuffling around, he’s the motivation that keeps us going and things positive.”
Schreiber’s competitive spirit seems to will the team to victories even on their not-so-great days.
”If you know him on the field, you definitely pick up on the intensity,” McIntyre said. “He’s ultra-competitive whether we’re playing pick-up basketball, playing horse or something or whatever it is. Everything turns into a competition.”