PORTALES, N.M.— For the last 20 years and 455 wins, Phil Clabaugh has been the only man to step on the field as the head coach of the Eastern New Mexico University baseball program. Two seasons ago, he guided the squad to its first appearance in the Lone Star Conference championship. With 551 overall wins as a head coach, Clabaugh has retired as Eastern’s baseball coach.
Clabaugh arrived at ENMU in 1992 and revived the dormant baseball program from scratch, building Greyhound field and a team to play on it. The Hounds won 20 games that year and posted a higher winning total in each of his first five years. Four of his players are in the ENMU Athletic Hall of Honors, with standout Dallas McMann set for induction this fall.
The team was a reflection of its coach’s attitude and was known for closing strong, with 21 wins in its final at bat over the last three seasons, with many of those wins coming against some of the powerhouse squads in the Lone Star Conference. Last season, Clabaugh’s charges scored eight runs in their final regulation at bat against Angelo State, to win in extra innings. Clabaugh also left his mark on Greyhound Field by winning the last five home finales.
Greyhound Field is another prize Clabaugh will leave to Eastern, a facility that has seen numerous improvements during his time as coach. Two years ago, a new fence, giving the facility deeper dimensions, along with better bullpens was set up over the summer. Several years ago, the Greyhounds received their indoor practice facility next to the game field, which enabled the team to work on hitting and fielding during the cold early months of the season.