VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY)- Wherever Dennis Nixon goes, Maddie is not far behind.
The game of softball and Maddie, are two of the great loves of his life. “I love it. Basketball was my game in college and I played one year of baseball, but softball is my love right here.”
He must love it. Nixon first stepped on the field at Princess Anne 30 years ago. In that time he has established himself as one of the winningest coaches in the state of Virginia with over 450 wins. Senior second baseman Anna Kalasinsky is just one of the many young ladies to learn the game from Nixon. “It’s probably the best experience I’ve ever had. Honestly because he is such a good coach. He knows the game so well that he teaches you things you would not even think you know about the game.”
Nixon doesn’t pull any punches when coaching his girls.”I figure anything I can hit them, they can catch in the game if the other girls hit them. If you watch in warm ups, I hit forehand and backhand and not right at them, with a little pepper,” says Nixon.
His players know, that tough approach will only make them better. Emily Will says she has become a much better player learning from Nixon. “Because he knows that were going to do really well, he’s hard on us because he knows that’s going to make us better.”
“He understands us. He’s not patronizing. He does not talk down to us. He knows how to calm us down in high stress situations,” says senior shortstop Angel Harrison.
Other coaches in the area know they are going to get the best from a Nixon coached softball team. He even has the respect from longtime umpires like Chris Miller. “Umpires respect him for who he is. He’s been doing this a long time. He’s got a lot of wins under his belt. He knows the game and he’s out here for the girls and not himself.”
Very much like his buddy Maddie, Dennis Nixon is loyal and trustworthy. But his focus is and always will be on developing the young ladies of Princess Anne softball. “I think they deserve everything. They’ve always been slighted if you ask me throughout their careers and now all seniors get scholarships so it helps the parents out,” added Nixon.