TAMPA, Fla. - University of South Florida softball coach Ken Eriksen stands at the doorstep of a major milestone. This Friday, he has the chance to join a small group of elite coaches. Eriksen needs just one more victory to hit 1,000 victories.
Eriksen is a living Bulls legend. He's first stepped on campus six decades ago and has never left. He's the first USF graduate to have participated in the NCAA tournament as a player, an assistant coach, and a head coach.
He's the architect of the Bulls winningest program, leading USF to 14 NCAA postseason appearances, two NCAA Super Regionals, a College World Series and won seven conference titles. Now he needs just one more win to reach 1,000 victories in his 25th season.
"I think it's close to 1,400 total wins, maybe more as a player and assistant coach," said Eriksen.
His players are looking forward to soaking in his history-making moment.
"I know every time we win a single game, we don't really keep track of the numbers or anything like that," junior pitcher Georgina Corrick shared. "It definitely means a lot for them to add up all like this."
"It's important to just focus on the game and to focus on the play at hand and the pitch," explained senior outfielder AnaMarie Bruni. "I think that's what has got him to those 1,000 wins, so it's awesome."
Coach Eriksen will become just the 25th Division I softball coach to reach 1,000 victories. He'll be only the second coach in Florida to achieve it behind FSU's Joanne Graf, who also coached for 25 seasons (1979-2008).
"Those things come with milestones and milestones are due to time," said Eriksen. "I figure we are doing something right, graduating people 100% of the time, pretty good grade point averages and a couple of wins along the way."
Making this mark isn't the end of Eriksen's Hall of Fame career. The 60-year old ball coach has no plans to walk away anytime soon.
"The game is incredible," Eriksen shared. "I fell in love with it and the game will go on."
His magic moment could come Friday at home when USF hits the field against East Carolina at noon.