Gig Harbor High School baseball coach Pete Jansen has reached another major milestone in his 29-year coaching career with the Tides.
With Gig Harbor’s 7-6 extra innings win over North Thurston on April 27, Jansen picked up career win No. 400 at Gig Harbor High School.
“It’s pretty neat,” Jansen said. “It’s just another milestone: You get 100, 200, 300. Last year, we had a great season.”
That great season — which culminated in a state championship for the Tides — helped get Jansen to No. 400 a bit quicker than he thought he would get there.
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“I wasn’t expecting to get to 400 in a couple years,” Jansen said. “It took 29 years to get to 400.”
Gig Harbor athletic director Bob Werner said the milestone is another indication of the culture Jansen has built and sustained at Gig Harbor High.
“Obviously, he’s an awesome coach and has an awesome community that supports the coach and the program,” Werner said. “He is a players’ coach and it shows by the incredible turnout numbers we have in our program. He is fair to all kids and exemplifies what is great about educational athletics. Another standout quality is his ability to retain quality assistant coaches, which is very unique in high school programs today. His 400th win is a tribute to him and his long-standing coaching staff.”
Along with the 400 wins, Jansen has two state titles to his name: One in 1997, and the most recent, last year, in 2017.
One member of that 2017 team, senior pitcher and University of Portland signee Austin Dempewolf, was impressed when he found out the win was Jansen’s 400th.
“It’s definitely a lot of work by him,” Dempewolf said. “A lot of time taken out of his life to come to practices, come to games, be a huge support for all the players. He loves the game a lot.”
Dempewolf said Jansen has a way of doing things that can sometimes take players some time to adjust to.
“He has a different way of teaching things that might be frustrating to some players at first, but it definitely works,” he said. “We don’t do as much on-field hitting as some kids want to. We go in the cages, do some drills you wouldn’t see every other day. We work a lot on staying low, having a two-strike based swing, instead of a long swing. It all comes together and works.”
Whatever the methods, it’s hard to argue with the results: 29 years, two state titles, 400 wins. 500 could be just around the corner.