Poteau baseball head coach Andy Perdue, who has also served as the Pirates football team's defensive coordinator, officially retired, presiding over the baseball team's banquet on Tuesday as his last act for the Pirates.
Perdue, who owns the Poteau baseball record with 195 wins, was gifted a red baseball bat that was signed by all of his players. He had been the head coach since 2013. He was an assistant under Ronnie Sockey from 2003 to 2012. Perdue guided the Pirates to five straight state tournament appearances (2016-19, 2021) and four LeFlore County Baseball Tournament titles (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019).
Former Carl Albert State College baseball and softball coach Mark Pollard told stories about Perdue coming up as a coach, recalling Perdue starting as an assistant for him in the CASC baseball program and how Perdue volunteered as a coach for 11 years.
"Who does that? I mean, no one is that dedicated that they will do that for that long," Pollard said of Perdue's years volunteering to coach.
Pollard said Perdue inherited his love for sports and his attention to detail from his father, Ralph.
"That's where he got his love for coaching, his detail, from his daddy," Pollard said.
Perdue has spent many days each year groundskeeping at Town Creek Park. Pollard recounted going to the field to ask him about things for the next day and saw his wife, Bobbie, helping him with the field.
Perdue reflected on his coaching tenure at the end of the banquet.
"I don't know if I'll get back into coaching later. Right now, I just feel like it was the time to get out. I'm tired, been at it for 32 years. Like coach Pollard said, I did 11 of it for free. I'd get off from [working at] the prison Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and get down on football practice. ... Coach [Chris] Duncan was on the team. He'd remember it. I did it because I loved it. I wanted to be around you guys. I loved every minute of it. I do not think I'll be going anywhere soon. I'm gonna be around," Perdue said.
Perdue thanked his assistant coaches — Duncan, Justin Payne and Ryan Dill — and presented each with an appreciation plaque. He also acknowledged other coaches who have helped him in the past several years.
Perdue will get one more game, coaching the Middle East team in the Oklahoma Baseball Coaches Association All-State game on June 6 with Ryan Dill assisting him and Pirates third baseman Jagger Dill playing.