Scott Berry ties Hill Denson for career wins at Southern Miss
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Hill Denson missed a few of his friend Scott Berry’s 468 wins over the years – coaching his own club at Belhaven for 19 seasons.
But the since-retired Denson hasn’t missed a Southern Miss victory this year – whether he’s catching games at Pete Taylor Park, on television or the radio.
He very much looks forward to seeing Berry break his career wins record (468) this weekend at UAB.
“It’s absolutely great,” Denson said. “[Berry] and I are closest of friends and I consider him one of my best friends in the country. I’m tickled to death for him. I didn’t know all that. I didn’t know all these numbers until I started hearing them these last couple weeks.”
Baseball is a numbers-driven game.
One of the more impressive stats is USM’s three coaches each with at least 450 wins – Hill Denson (468), Scott Berry (468) and Corky Palmer (458).
“Nobody said anything about the losses so I don’t know what all that means,” Denson said. “We all have a history with each other and have all been friends all these years. It’s a great honor to be part of those three guys.”
Before Berry was taking the Golden Eagles to a school-record 15 wins in a row and their highest national ranking at No. 4; before Corky Palmer was taking them to Omaha – Hill Denson was just trying to get butts in the seats.
When he arrived in 1984, USM was lucky to have 100 fans in the stands.
It sold a program-record 2,500-plus season tickets in 2022.
Denson led the Eagles to their first NCAA tournament in 1990. They’ve since been to 17 more.
“It just means everything to me,” Berry said. “Hill and I are very good friends. It was his vision years and years ago that really started building our stadium and building our program to what it is today. He felt like this program could do something special, and certainly it has and continues to do that.”
“When we started out to build something that anybody would care about,” Denson said. “And that happened and it’s continuing to happen and it gets bigger and better all the time. It takes years and years to build a reputation like Scott and Corky have built. It’s just great to watch what’s happening and again – I couldn’t be prouder.”
Southern Miss has proven to be one of the nation’s most consistent programs for four decades.
USM is one of only three Division I schools with 20 straight 30-win seasons and one of two with five straight 40-win seasons.
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