Local coach inducted into hall of fame

North Royalton City Schools’ Coach Don Filips was inducted into the Northeast Ohio Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on June 15 at Canal Park in downtown Akron prior to the final All-Star game.

Filips built the North Royalton Bears into a baseball powerhouse during the 14 years he served as head coach, 1994-2007.  His 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.

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 10 sectional championships. Four of his teams also finished in the top-10 in the state poll: 2002 (fifth), 2003 (fifth), 2005 (second), and 2006 (seventh). 

Two of Filips’ players, Brandon Hynick and Steve Weber, were drafted by Major League Baseball. Hynick was selected in the eighth round by the Colorado Rockies and Weber went to the Florida Marlins in the 33rd round.

Filips 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).

In addition to coaching, Filips is recognized for collaborating with high school administrators and community members to organize, fundraise and construct block dugouts, towers, and professional batting cages for North Royalton’s baseball and softball fields. He created Bear Baseball Camp in 1995 for elementary and middle school aged children. The annual camp is now in its 27th year of operation and attended by more than 250 students each year.

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. ∞