Jerry Boatner
Jerry Boatner
Organization: West Lauderdale High School (MS)
Year: 2017 Inductee

A championship baseball and softball coach from West Lauderdale High School in Collinsville, Mississippi, Jerry Boatner has led his baseball and softball teams to a combined 21 state championships and 1,743 wins, more than any other coach in the state of Mississippi.

Boatner began his coaching career in 1969 as head coach at Clarkdale (Miss.) High School. He arrived at West Lauderdale in 1973, where he has led the Knights baseball program to a Mississippi high school record 13 state championships, with their most recent title coming in 2014. He also holds the state high school record for wins in the sport of baseball with 1,133 in his career.

Throughout his career, Boatner has had the privilege of coaching a number great teams, including his 2007 squad that finished the season with a 38-2 record and a No. 2 national ranking. Over 120 of his players have gone on to play college baseball, while another 10 have moved on to the professional ranks.

From 1990-2008, Boatner also guided the West Lauderdale softball program to an impressive 610-135 (.819) record and eight state titles.

Now a member of five Halls of Fame, Boatner has been named the ABCA/Diamond National Coach of the Year four times, most recently in 2009. He has also been named Sectional Coach of Year three times and is a 25-time District Coach of the Year. Boatner has the honor of having the fields at both Clarkdale High School and West Lauderdale High School named after him.

The 41-year Lifetime ABCA member has served on numerous state baseball committees as well as a 10-member National Rules Committee. He has also worked as an associate scout for the Kansas City Royals.

Boatner has been heavily involved in his community, starting West Lauderdale's FCA organization and serving as a member of Collinsville's First Baptist Church since 1974.

As a player, Boatner attended East Mississippi Community College before finishing his college career at Delta State University. He served as an ace pitcher for fellow ABCA Hall of Famer Boo Ferris. In 1968, Boatner led the Statesmen to a third place finish at the NCAA Div. II College World Series.