Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Photo by Jay Kapp  
Baseball Coach Andy Harlin of St. Pius X High School in Atlanta recently celebrated his 700th win. The veteran coach led the Golden Lions in a victory over Riverwood High School to achieve the milestone. 


Longtime archdiocesan baseball coach notches milestone win 

By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | Published May 2, 2024

ATLANTA—Andy Harlin, a high school baseball hall of famer coach, earned his 700th win at the home diamond of the St. Pius Golden Lions baseball team in mid-April.

This veteran educator has taught for 35 years in Archdiocese of Atlanta schools, teaching physical education and coaching baseball, with stints at Christ the King School, St. Pius X High School and Blessed Trinity High School. After 12 years leading the St. Pius X baseball program, Harlin spent two decades at Blessed Trinity High School before returning to St. Pius X three years ago.

Coach Harlin is a Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame coach. Over his 35-year career, Harlin has compiled a record of 700-255. He coached Blessed Trinity teams to state baseball titles in 2006, 2014 and 2015. The team finished as state runner-up in 2016 and 2017. Among his many honors are more than 30 Coach of the Year awards. He recently earned the milestone win in a game against Riverwood High School. The Golden Lions finished the season at 20-9 going into the playoffs.

Coach Harlin answered a few questions by email:

Can you share how you first got involved in baseball and where you learned the most about the game during your early years? What position did you play? 

I got the love of the game from my mom and dad. We moved to Atlanta in 1974 from Maryland. My mom was a big Braves fan and dad grew up with the Brooklyn Dodgers. They gave me my love for baseball. I was mainly a catcher when I played.

What does it mean to you to get the 700th win back at the high school where it started? 

St. Pius X is where I started and to have the opportunity to get the 700th at Spellman Field was special. When I was at Pius in the 1990’s we didn’t have a field on campus so that meant a lot to get it there.

You first taught and coached in the early 1990s at St. Pius X. What are the most important things you have learned over the years that have helped you become a winning coach and mentor to young men?’ 

I’ve just always tried to learn from others. I owe a ton to Mark Kelly, Ricky Turner and Todd Mooney who are the three AD’s (athletic directors) I’ve worked for. They’re all different but great people who are great examples to students. What’s funny is I talk to a lot of players I used to coach. I guess I was the teacher when they were young, then they went on to have great success at high levels of baseball, even professional baseball, and it ends up where I learn a lot from them. My wife will tell you I just have a learner mentality because she has seen me get on planes to go meet with coaches from around the country just to talk baseball and learn. We even had our honeymoon in Cooperstown, New York where we spent every day touring the Hall of Fame. I think every vacation we’ve ever taken has been tied to baseball. She is from California, so I’ve worked camps out there at different colleges; a few years ago, we had our vacation in Omaha, Nebraska to go to the College World Series; went to Cape Cod one summer to see the collegiate league up there.

How would you compare the wins and the games of baseball at the front end of your career with those at the back end of your career? 

I learned early on that if it’s just about winning the last game each season a coach is going to be miserable. I’ve been lucky to have accumulated some milestones and won some games but that’s a reflection of the players I’ve been blessed to coach and the work they’ve put in, and all the great assistant coaches I’ve had who deserve all the credit. I’ve just been fortunate to have been with two great schools for so long and I can promise you a day doesn’t go by that I take for granted. I truly believe in the mission of the Catholic schools, and I realize an athletic team is an extension of that mission. As a coach you’re growing kids not only in athletics but in their faith as well, and I’m just so fortunate to have built so many relationships with so many incredible people over these 35 years. The recognition really goes to the players and assistant coaches that got those wins.