1,000 Wins

By Megan Bryant

When I first started coaching, I never thought I’d reach 1,000 wins.

It’s just not something you think about.

I was going game by game, day by day.

In a way, I still am.

I still remember game one like it was yesterday.

And it’s been quite a journey ever since.

I’ve had the pleasure of coaching so many remarkable young women.

They’ve won championships, played in the NCAA tournament, and earned All-American honors.

But more importantly, they’ve grown as people.

I’ve been able to help them pursue their dreams in the sport they love.

It’s been an honor to be a part of their journey and to help them get to where they want to go.

And now, I’m getting to celebrate a milestone that not many coaches are able to reach.

I’m humbled, to say the least.

I’ve been able to reflect on my career and all the things I’ve learned and accomplished.

I’d like to share some of those with you today.

Finding the right people

I’ve always believed in recruiting good people who are also great players.

It’s not enough to just have talent.

You have to have the right mindset and attitude to be successful.

We always say we’d take a high-character student-athlete who’s a .350 hitter with great grades and great parents over a .650 hitter with sketchy grades who doesn’t seem motivated and has overly involved parents.

We’ve been able to build a program around the core values of hard work, commitment, discipline, and accountability, and that’s what’s allowed us to be consistently successful year after year.

And it’s paid off.

We’ve won conference championships, made it to the NCAA tournament, and earned national recognition.

We’ve been able to win consistently, and that’s really hard to do.

Of course, not every season has gone according to plan.

But through it all, we’ve been able to stay the course and continue to build a winning program.

I think it all comes back to our culture.

When you have the right people in place, and you’re all working towards a common goal, anything is possible.

I know I’ve been able to do a lot of great things as a coach, but I couldn’t have done any of it without the support of my players and staff.

They’ve bought into what I’m trying to do here, and I’m so grateful for that.

A changing game

Softball has changed a lot over the years.

When I first started coaching in 1986, the game was much different than it is today.

There wasn’t as much offense, and pitchers were much more dominant.

But as the game has evolved, so have I.

I’ve had to adapt my coaching style and methods to meet the needs of today’s student-athletes.

I don’t think student-athletes are all that different these days, but there are different ways to get things done.

That’s why it’s critical to stay relevant and in tune with what’s important today.

I’ve learned to be more patient and understanding.

I still believe in ‘old-fashioned values’ like hard work and commitment, but I also recognize the need to be flexible and open-minded.

It’s a balancing act, but it’s been crucial for me to continue to grow as a coach and find success in this ever-changing game.

I've always believed in recruiting good people who are also great players. It's not enough to just have talent. You have to have the right mindset and attitude to be successful.

Proud

When I look back on my career, there are a few things that stand out to me.

One is the success of our alumni.

I’m so proud of how well they’re doing in life, whether that’s with their families or their careers.

Many of them continue to stay in touch with a text after a game or by giving back to the program, financially, or with their time.

More importantly, I’ve seen them grow and develop into incredible young women.

That’s what makes it all worth it.

Another is how well our players have done in the classroom.

We continue to have a high team GPA season after season and I could not be more proud of them for it.

It’s not just about what they do on the pitch — it’s also about the academic side.

I’m just so proud of the culture we’ve built here at Stony Brook.

We’ve been able to build a winning program, but more importantly, we’ve been able to build a program that embraces and exemplifies those values of hard work, commitment, discipline, and accountability.

I’m proud of how consistently we’ve been able to win and compete at a high level.

I know I’ve been able to reach a milestone that not many coaches get to reach, and that’s something I’ll always be grateful for.

But more than anything, I’m proud of the program we’ve built here at Stony Brook and the young women I’ve had the privilege to coach along the way.

Here’s to the next 1,000 wins.

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