Spring High softball coach Julie Wyrick reaches 600 career wins

In Julie Wyrick’s first year as a softball head coach, she got to coach in the state championship game in Oklahoma.

Even though they came up short, Wyrick remembers many things about that loss but hardly anything about the three victories leading up to that title game.

Wyrick has led a few programs since then, picking up hundreds of wins along the way. But for her, it’s not the games as much as it is the people, faces and moments that she cherishes beyond all imagination.

On March 25, Myrick said everything flowed down memory lane.

Spring High head coach Wyrick reached 600 career wins in early March. A few week later, friends, family, coworkers, and alumni gathered on campus that Friday to throw a surprise celebration for Wyrick.

“I just got to take a minute and really cherish those moments with friends and family and people that I’ve known for years and people that I just met,” Wyrick said. “Those are the moments that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

Wyrick said moments like those make her stop and smile. She said those moments remind her of all of the incredible moments, the ones that go way to fast.

Winning 600 games was awesome, Wyrick said, but getting to see all the people that were there to celebrate that occasion with her was priceless.

“When I look back, the memories aren’t the games, it’s the people,” Wyrick said “It’s the time that you shared with those kids and those families.”

‘Along for the ride’

For Wyrick, softball has been the one true constant. Wyrick started coaching at Page High and had stops at Sand Spring, Okla., and El Campo High before taking over at Spring.

She said the reason why she gets up for work is easy since she gets to look her why in the face every day.

Her why are her student athletes.

“My why are the last 26 years’ worth of young ladies that come thru my programs that I can look back and say they’re awesome moms, they had awesome careers, they’re business women, they’re coaches,” Wyrick said. “I had a hand in who they are today.”

There have been milestones along the way, but 600 didn’t feel a whole lot different than 599, she said, and it didn’t feel too much different than 601.

In fact, for Wyrick, win No. 600 was just another game.

She said she didn’t want to make too much of it, but the team still took the time to recognize her after their 15-1 win over Eisenhower on March 4 and even dumped water over her head. She said was an occasion to remember.

Wyrick’s name might be the one that gets praise for all the success, but to her, it’s all the student-athletes that have been a part her journey that should be acknowledged.

“That’s who deserves the credit, not me, I got to go along for the ride. …So, it’s been a lot of fun,” Wyrick said.

Championship level

The Lady Lions haven’t dropped a league game since 2016-17, claiming four straight undefeated district championships, minus the canceled 2019-20 season due to COVID-19. They’ve made it three rounds deep twice during that span.

This year’s team very young, Wyrick said, with no seniors starting. Instead, she goes with three juniors, two sophomores and four freshman.

Wyrick said the sky is the limit for this group of kids. But she also recognizes that they have a long way to go and a lot to learn.

That’s why she had the Lady Lions play an incredibly difficult preseason ahead of District 14-6A play.

“I put us in some situations to have to really step up just to and I wanted us to see the difference in what playoffs is going to look like in comparison to what our district play looks like,” Wyrick said.

Even tough Spring beat Dekaney 17-1 in late March to keep the district run intact, Myrick said they weren’t 100% sharp. She said she doesn’t want them to get into a position where they think that’s normal.

Wyrick said it took them four innings to run-rule the Lady Wildcats. She said it’s been a while since it’s taken that long and doesn’t like it when the Lady Lions play teams that they think can’t compete with them.

Win or lose, Wyrick said she wants it to be exciting, but they don’t get to see that very much. They’ve outscored 14-6A opponents 153-5 so far, as of March 31. She said she has to do a better job of finding a way to challenge her players every single day to get them to step up their level of play.

“Championship teams play at a very high level no matter who is across the field, no matter the level of the team that they’re playing,” Wyrick said.

Greatest job in America

Wyrick said she has the greatest job in America because she loves the people that she works with. She’s also a proud Spring ISD educator and doesn’t see herself retiring in the near future

“I’m not ready to retire. …God willing, I think I could do this another 10 years,” Wyrick said.

A friend of Wyrick recently mentioned her in the same sentence with legendary coach Joe Gilbert. Just that mention made Myrick feel like she was walking on air.

Gilbert was Wyrick’s former coach at Barnsdall in Oklahoma. He coached there from 1954 until he passed away two summers ago at the age of 87. Gilbert won almost 4,000 games.

Wyrick’s not sure if she’ll ever reach 1,000.

“I don’t see myself coaching until I’m 90 years old but he set a wonderful example for me,” Wyrick said. “I know that with passion and with love and taking care of yourself, that you can do this job for a really long time if you chose to.”

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