A coaching legend in the Boulder area softball scene, Pete Sprenkle retired after the 2015 season, but he has not since been forgotten.
On March 31, Sprenkle was honored with the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award from USA Softball of Colorado. While presenting the award, USA Softball Commissioner for Colorado Nik Mead said, "Softball in Colorado has grown tremendously the past 20 or 30 years and Pete Sprenkle has been right in the middle of many of the activities that spurred that growth. This award is to recognize the many contributions he has made to softball in Colorado."
When Sprenkle himself was asked for his thoughts on receiving the award, he wasn't exactly sure exaclty what to say.
"I really have devoted a large part of my life to softball," Sprenkle said. "To be recognized in this way is really very humbling. It was a huge surprise and something that I just really appreciate. It is really a fantastic recognition."
Now 80 years old and retired, Sprenkle coached youth sports for 41 years. He started out in the Jeffe Collyer Baseball/Softball League in Ossining, NY in 1975 when his daughter Linda signed up to play her team did not have a coach. The team won its first game and Sprenkle was hooked.
Moving to Boulder in the fall of 1977, he founded the Boulder Valley Girls Softball Association in October of 1978 to give Boulder its first softball program.
Since then, Sprenkle has worn many hats:
• Coach in the "A", "B" and "C" classifications in summer softball, in the 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U and 18U age groups. His teams won nine state and four regional championships as well as numerous league and tournament championships with an overall record of over 1,500 wins in more than 2,300 games.
• President or Treasurer of the local softball organization, 1978-2000.
• Tournament Director of numerous tournaments.
• Member of many tournament committees, including four national tournaments.
• Founder of BVGSA Summer Softball Camp and director for eight years.
• Organizer and instructor of softball skills clinics, summer camps and coaches' clinics.
• Developer of four practice fields for Boulder Competitive Girls Softball.
• President and Director of the Colorado Girls Softball Coaches Association.
• Organizer of the Lady Warriors summer program in 1998.
• Prep softball coach at Centaurus and Boulder High, 1998-2002.
• YMCA Youth Tee Ball/Baseball coach, 2003-2007.
• Girls fast pitch 10U-18U coach, 2007-2015.
• Developed the Ball Drills and Tips coaches support web site with over 330,000 hits.
• Author of the book "A Softball Coaches Tool Kit and A Youth Baseball Coaches Tool Kit."
The last year Sprenkle coached was in 2015 with the Boulder Stars club program. Now he is running a tournament called the Foothills Challenge in the Boulder area on April 22-23, which will be a fundraiser for the BVGSA recreational league. He runs a similar tournament in the fall.
"I did it for 41 years," Sprenkle said. "The group I had in 2015 was pretty much all high school seniors who had played for me for a number of years, including my granddaughter, who is now at CU. When they all graduated, that was pretty much my whole team and I figured it might be time to slow down."
Retired but not out of the game, Sprenkle said one of the things he enjoys most is spending his Sundays watching multiple streaming games of his former players playing in college.
Brad Cochi: firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/BradCochi