Hall of Famer influences local coaches

Published 4:01 pm Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

When legendary J.H. Rose baseball coach Ronald Vincent joins the National High School Hall of Fame later this year, he’ll bring a little bit of Beaufort County along with him.

Vincent has won over 1,000 games and seven state championships during his tenure at the Greenville school, the latest coming in 2021. He has won more games than any North Carolina baseball coach and ranks in the top 10 nationally. He is also in the N.C. Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and is a member of the NCHSAA Hall of Fame.

Washington resident Kevin Mitchell was one of his assistant coaches from 1999-2014 and was part of three title teams.
“I learned so much from him over 15 years that it’s hard to sum it all up,” Mitchell said. “He taught hundreds of young men about baseball, but also about life and how to be successful off the field. He was always about making everyone around him better and never put himself first. We were standing on the Mudcats field in Zebulon after we won in 2004 and he told me he was going to retire soon. He’s still successful 20 years later and I hope he coaches forever.”

Vincent’s mother-in-law. Helen Myers, operated Myers Florist’s at the corner of E. Main and Harvey St. in Washington for many years and his team still faces Washington High School every spring.

“I played against some of the summer teams he organized and his success over such a long period of time is remarkable,” said Washington High School coach and athletic director Will Tyson. “It was great talking to him before our season opener this year and all of us here have massive respect for what he’s done at Rose. It’s amazing to me as a younger coach that he’s been consistently successful for this long.”

Mitchell used to get nervous before big games, especially during the playoffs, but was always surprised by how calm Vincent was.

“He used to tell me that we were going to win either way,” Mitchell said. “If we won, we would get to play another game and it would be time to enjoy summer if we lost. I was blessed to work with him.”