CHAPMANVILLE — Ever since he stepped down from coaching 10 years ago, Danny Godby took on a new title.
However, to most people he was still, “coach.”
Godby, however, has officially retired.
Godby, also the longtime Logan County Commissioner, had his last day on the job as the Chapmanville Regional High School AD on June 30.
“I’ll be 66 years old,” Godby said. “It’s time for someone younger to do the job. Last December, I gave them a letter letting them know my intentions and June 30 was my last day.”
Godby, who had previously been the Chapmanville boys’ basketball coach and also the longtime baseball assistant coach under Ted Ellis, said he will miss working with the student-athletes.
“I’m now retired. I’ve been in it for 44 years but I’m going to miss it and I’m going to miss being around the kids,” Godby said.
In Godby’s latest role as Chapmanville’s AD, he transitioned the school from the old high school to the new Chapmanville Regional High School, which opened its doors in 2007 and brought in new students from the Harts area after Harts High School had closed its doors.
Under Godby’s leadership, Chapmanville Tiger athletics have flourished over the last 10 years.
Chapmanville and Godby hired former Tigers’ grid coach George Barker in 2003 from Logan to turn around the struggling Chapmanville football progam.
The Tigers have enjoyed six straight winning seasons since 2006 and five Class AA playoff appearances in a row under Barker. Last year was the most successful season in Chapmanville football history as far as the post-season goes as the Tigers went 9-4 and reached the state semifinals — a feat no other Tiger team had done before.
On the softball diamond, Ronnie Ooten’s Chapmanville Lady Tigers brought home Class AA state championships in 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2010 under Godby’s watch.
In baseball, head coach Eric Ellis led the Tigers to the 2011 Class AA state championship — Chapmanville’s first title since 1997 when Ted Ellis and Godby were leading the team. The Tigers roared to a 35-3 record and beat Wyoming East 8-0 in the Double-A state championship game at Charleston’s Appalachian Power Park.
On the basketball court, Godby brought in former rival coach Harry Kirk of Harts High School to turn around the Chapmanville program. Kirk’s Tigers have enjoyed three straight winning seasons since he took over.
In girls’ basketball, Chapmanville also has had some success. During the 2010-11 season, Coach David Williamson’s Lady Tigers advanced to the Class AA state tournament in Charleston. It was the first state tourney berth for a Chapmanville girls’ basketball team since the 1990s.
But it wasn’t just success on the field or on the court.
Godby was also key in getting major athletic facilities upgrades in Chapmanville.
In addition to the new gym at CRHS for the basketball and volleyball teams, Godby also helped secure a new Ted Ellis Field for baseball in 2007, a new softball field in 2011 and also new tennis courts behind the high school.
Godby had a stellar playing and coaching career and retired from coaching with Ted Ellis as a Chapmanville High School baseball assistant after the 2001 season in which the Tigers went 30-5 and made it to the state tournament.
Godby, a Chapmanville High School graduate, who went on to play professional baseball in the minors and with the St. Louis Cardinals in the Major Leagues in 1974, helped lead the Tigers to Class AA state baseball titles in 1987 and 1997.
Godby, who played collegiate baseball at Bowling Green in Ohio after his graduation from CHS, was believed to be only the second person ever from Logan County to make it as far as the Major Leagues, with the other being Man native Max Butcher, who pitched in the National League with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates from 1936-45.
At the end of the 1969 season Godby was added to the Reds’ 40-man roster. It was the era of Cincy’s “Big Red Machine,” and Godby played along side Pete Rose, Tony Perez, Lee May, Bobby Tolan and Dave Concepcion.
In 1970, he was sent back down to the minors and played for Class AA Asheville (N.C.). Near the end of the season, Godby was sent to Class AAA Indianapolis.
Then in the winter of ‘71, Godby was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization and played in ‘72 and ‘73 for Class AAA Tulsa (Okla.) of the American Association.
In the spring of ‘73 with Tulsa, Godby received the Joe “Ducky” Medwick Award for the highest batting average. He led the team in hitting with a .344 average and was later the MVP of the American Association’s All-Star team.
In 1974, he hit .345 with Tulsa and was called up to the St. Louis Cardinals’ team. At the time he was leading the American Association in hitting, doubles and runs scored.
On Aug. 13, 1974, he had his first Major League hit in his first time at bat off Bill Laxton of the San Diego Padres. The Cardinals were in a race for the pennant and the game had gone into extra innings. Godby got his hit, stole second base and scored the winning run.
He then played with the Cardinals in the longest game in Major League history in St. Louis’ 25-inning, seven-hour marathon with the New York Mets at Shea Stadium.
While at St. Louis, Godby was teammates with Bob Gibson, Keith Hernandez, Lou Brock, Ted Simmons, Joe Torre and Claude Osteen.
He also played against Hank Aaron, Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt. He hit against Nolan Ryan, J.R. Richard and Jim Bunning.
Godby has been the Logan County Commissioner since 1989, a Reds’ baseball scout and the former owner of Dan and Dave’s Sporting Goods in Logan from 1976-97.