North Royalton City Schools’ Coach Don Filips Inducted into Northeast Ohio Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame
North Royalton City Schools’ Coach Don Filips was inducted into the Northeast Ohio Baseball Coaches Association (NEOBCA) Hall of Fame on June 15 at Canal Park in downtown Akron. It took place before the final All-Star Game.
Coach Filips built the North Royalton Bears into a baseball powerhouse during his 14 years as head coach (1994 - 2007). Coach Filips’ 243 wins are the most in school history. He also holds the record for winning percentage (career 64% and season 93%), most wins in a season (28) and most consecutive wins (24) to start a season.
Coach Filips’ 2005 team was nationally ranked (43rd) by the Baseball Coaches of America, finished second in the OHSBCA State Poll, and made the Elite 8. His teams won two district championships, four Pioneer Conference championships, and ten sectional championships. Four of his teams have finished in the top 10 in the state poll: 2002 (5th), 2003 (5th), 2005 (2nd), and 2006 (7th). Five teams finished in the Plain Dealer Top 10: 2005 (1st), 2002 (2nd), 2006 (3rd), 2003 (9th), and 2001 (10th).
Coach Filips had two players drafted by Major League Baseball: Brandon Hynick, 8th round – Colorado Rockies and Steve Weber, 33rd round – Florida Marlins. Seventeen Royalton players earned All-Ohio honors including one Ohio Player of the Year for Division 1 and one All-American Player (Hynick) during his tenure. All-Ohio selection Brian Meyer is currently the manager of the Fort Myers Mussels in the Florida State League (Low A).
He was named Plain Dealer Coach of the Year (2002) and Greater Cleveland Baseball Coaches Association Coach of the Year (2005). He also was named Pioneer Conference Coach of the Year four times (2002, 2003, 2005, and 2006).
Coach Filips was selected by his peers to coach OHSBCA All-Ohio Series in 2005. He also coached in numerous NEOBCA and GCBCA all-star games during his tenure.
Coach Filips served as Northeast District Representative for the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association for six seasons. He was a state poll voter and collaborated with Curt Karpinski in making the first OHSBCA website.
Coach Filips collaborated with high school administrators and community members to organize, fundraise, and construct block dugouts, towers, and professional batting cages for the baseball and softball fields. He created Bear Baseball Camp in 1995 for elementary and middle school aged children. This annual camp, in its 27th year of operation, is attended by more than 250 students each year.
He was the first baseball coach at North Royalton to travel out of state for competition. The 2002 and 2005 teams competed at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. His 2000 team barnstormed the Columbus area during their spring break.
Coach Filips was coached by several NEOBCA Hall of Fame coaches as well as serving as a coach with them. Don earned All Senate League honors for Bill Kronik at Collinwood and coached under Dave Sprochi (St. Joseph) and Dennis Turkall (Euclid). These mentors truly impacted his development as a teacher, coach and father.
Coach Filips retired from high school baseball coaching in 2007 to raise and coach his three all time favorite players: Zach, Josh, and Aaron Filips. He says he is beyond blessed to share his coaching journey with Bonnie, his wife of 25 years.