Arlington Scholastic Sports World Laments Retirement of W-L Baseball Coach Doug Grove
No one embodies the virtues we all hope youth coaches will have more than Doug Grove. Fairness, honesty, integrity, patience, respect, knowledge of the game – in these and in so many more qualities, Coach Grove sets the standard for conduct and character so few of his peers are able to achieve.
For the first time in thirty years, Washington-Lee High School’s baseball team began their season last month without Doug Grove as their coach. In 24 years as head coach (following another 6 as JV coach), Doug’s teams won 286 games and six National District Championships, qualifying for the regional tournament 20 times, where they claimed victories over regional powerhouses Madison, Stone Bridge and W.T. Woodson.
But with apologies to Vince Lombardi, in scholastic sports winning is neither everything, nor the only thing. As mothers and fathers entrust their adolescent boys and girls to the care and control of high school coaches whose decisions can literally change their lives and self-images for better or worse, they can only hope and pray that their children’s experiences will be more positive than negative. Never has that trust been more faithfully fulfilled than with Coach Grove. A skilled coach. A beloved mentor. A wonderful man.
Doug Grove graduated from W-L in 1981 and played baseball for Coach Del Norwood. He graduated from James Madison University in 1985 and started teaching in Arlington in 1989. He currently teaches Psychology in the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate curricula – where his classes are among the most popular at the school.
Four of Coach Grove’s former W-L players are currently playing college baseball – just the latest of a long list. “I am very proud of the way my players conducted themselves over the years,” he recently reflected. “I think our teams were known for playing sound fundamental team defense and typically got better by the end of the season.” He is always quick to credit his staff. “I was very fortunate to always have excellent assistant coaches,” he added, “including Terry Dwyer, Bill Wykoff, Adam Baluitis, Ron Greenstreet and Jay Hairston.”
Over the years at W-L, Doug Grove also coached JV Basketball for Coach John Phillips and Coach Bobby Dobson, and was the W-L golf coach for 10 years.
Doug married his high school sweetheart Linda and they have lived in Fairlington since 1989.
In 1998, Coach Grove was named the Better Sports Club Coach of the Year. No one has ever been more deserving of that award.