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Newport High School honors the legacy of coach Bob Albo
Coach Bob Albo's philosophy was simple: "Shoot for the moon and sometimes you end up traveling amongst the stars."
In other words, by expecting the best, sometimes his players only turned out excellent.
Last Saturday, March 24, Albo's former players, friends, family and members of the community gathered at Newport High School for the official dedication of "Bob Albo Field," where a brand-new new scoreboard with the coach's name on it was unveiled.
"My players are the sons I've never had," said Albo, before giving the first pitch at the game versus Bellevue High School Saturday. "I love you all deeply. What more could a person ask for?"
A beloved math teacher and coach, Albo taught for more than 30 years, including 26 in Bellevue alone.
He led the Knights from 1972-1983 and then again in 1992-1996, compiling an impressive 322-108 record.
Under his leadership, the Knights brought home three state titles and six conference championships. Albo’s peers also voted him into the Washington State Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame.
A dozen of Albo's players have been drafted into the major leagues, including former LA Dodger, Todd Hollandsworth.
However, that's not the measure of a great coach, as many of his former players will tell anyone.
The number of weddings he's attended, for one, speak to what a lasting impression he's made.
Last year, many of his former players wrote to the Bellevue School Board, urging them to officially name Newport's field after the coach. In June 2011, the board voted unanimously to go forward with the request.
Three alumni from the mid '70s: Scott McQuilkin, Jim Simpkins and Mike Patterson helped mobilize their old classmates to make it happen.
McQuilkin, who went on to coach at baseball at Whitworth University and Pennsylvania State University said he felt like he was getting the highest level of training in baseball there was during his high school years.
"The players at Penn. State may have seen me, but they were really being coached by Bob Albo," he said.
Gabrielle Nomura can be reached at 425-453-4270.