What has Eric Kibler accomplished in 38 years

April 13, 2018 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

It's hard to believe Horizon baseball coach Eric Kibler has persevered for 38 years as the Huskies' only head coach.

I mean, what has the guy done to keep the job that long?

He finally won his 800th game earlier this season. Added a few more to make it 806. Heck, even if I'd have coached that long I'd have piled up that many wins.

Then there's just the handful of state championships -- six (1995, 1996, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010). That's only one every 6.33 years. And what about the other three chances he had to win? What happened in 2003, 2006 and 2009?

Region titles? May have fallen short there, too. Twenty in 38 seasons. A little more than one every two years.

Maybe Kibler spent too much time away from Horizon's program helping and coaching other kids. He spent a lot of offseasons, summers juggling time for some odd organization called USA Baseball that puts together youth national teams. That's a big responsibility for a guy with limited success locally. He also went offline working as a coordinator of USA 14U and 17U olympic development program. Somehow he ended up coaching an 18U team for USA that won a gold medal in Japan in 2015.

A guy should have accomplished more than that in 38 years, don't you think? More than being Horizon's and the Paradise Valley district's most successful program in its history. 

Kibler apparently won't be coaching a 39th year at Horizon. Neither will several longtime, loyal assistant coaches. The powers that be have decided they've seen enough. 

I and others - numbering surely in the thousands from assistants, opposing coaches, current and former players, parents - believe otherwise. Another year wouldn't have been detrimental at all. Not for the model baseball coach of all-time at the prep level in Arizona.

Kibler's time after this season -- barring common sense and respect winning out and another season granted -- will in part be focused on helping coach his 10-year-old grandson's baseball team.

I'd like to be that grandchild.