Richland College honors Wharton for reaching 500 wins
Reaching five hundred wins in any sport is an astonishing feat, even greater when they’re all one with team. In April, Richland College baseball coach Joe Wharton surpassed that number by finishing this season with 508-266 record. Richland College held a reception for in Wharton’s honor, to celebrate his achievements during his 13-season tenure as T-Ducks coach. Under his leadership, the T-Ducks have won four National Junior College Athletic Association, (NJCAA), World Series Championship titles and has helped more than 15 players reach the professional ranks.
“Getting my 500th victory is pretty special because it just confirms that all the hard work I have put in over the last  years has paid off,” Wharton said after reaching the 500 mark. “I am not into personal awards, but in baseball, if you win 500 games then it means you have achieved something special. When you have four national championships in the past eight years and eight World Series appearances, it’s pretty neat too.”
Aside from his team’s four national championships, Wharton has been named NJCAA National Coach of the Year four times, his teams have qualified for the playoffs every year and he has coached more than 100 players who have moved on to the play at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level.
“It’s my job to recruit players to Richland, where we do not offer athletic scholarships. Once they’re here it’s my job to get them prepared on and off the field,” Wharton said. “The players deserve all the credit because they still have to get out on the field and perform and get the job done. So the players have made me look good.” Wharton is also proud of the fact that the Richland baseball program has helped more than one-hundred players move on to four-year universities totaling between seven-hundred fifty-thousand and one million dollars in athletic and academic aid in the past 10 years.
Before coming to Richland, Wharton, a Dallas native played baseball for Baylor University. There he was selected to be on the all Southwest Conference First Team and was named team MVP before being selected by the New York Yankees in the eighteenth round of the 1993 draft.