EDWARDSVILLE – It was a very exciting way to pick up a milestone win as a coach. And to top it off, it was for the state championship as well.

And that’s exactly what happened on Saturday evening at Route 66 Stadium in Joliet, as Edwardsville baseball coach Tim Funkhouser notched his 700th career win in dramatic fashion, as Aaron Young came around from second on a bunt to score the winning run in the top of the eighth inning to give the Tigers a 3-2 win over the Stars in the IHSA Class 4A title game.

The win climaxes a very successful year for both Funkhouser and the Tigers, as Edwardsville finished the season 37-5, overcoming a rough start in March to win the Tigers’ first-ever Class 4A crown, its first championship since 1998.

In a speech during a welcome-home reception Sunday afternoon at Tom Pile Field, Funkhouser gave credit to his players and the Edwardsville community for their support in helping him achieve the milestone.

“I’m humbled daily, and when people talk about 700 wins, it’s not about me, it’s about these guys,” Funkhouser said in a speech at the reception, pointing to his players, “and the guys who came before them, and the people who laid down the foundation. It’s about our community, it’s about our donors, the boosters, the sponsors on the wall. All that culminates, and I know it sounds like notes from a political speech, but it is the truth. Everything combined together, everybody united as one front, working together, can be very powerful, and these boys were able to display it on the field, and there’s a lot of value.”

Since taking over the program from Pile in 1999, after Pile retired following the 1998 championship season in which the Tigers went 40-0, Funkhouser, a shortstop on the first title team in 1990, has coached the Tigers to nine Southwestern Conference titles, 14 regional championships, and nine sectional crowns.

A member of both the Illinois Baseball Coaches Association and St. Louis Amateur Baseball Hall Of Fame, Funkhouser has coached six Edwardsville teams to the IHSA state tournament in both Class AA and Class 4A, and became the 21st coach to reach 700 wins, and is also the fastest to the milestone as well. Funkhouser coached at Triad in his first three years, going 55-32 with the Knights before taking the job with the Tigers, and is 645-163 in 21 seasons with Edwardsville.

Funkhouser has also sent over 100 players to play in college baseball programs across the nation, with five of them eventually playing professionally.

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