Jim Page prepares for 35th season coaching baseball at Millsaps College

Page has 815 career wins as head coach of the Majors
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 9:45 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Jim Page played college baseball at Millsaps College from 1981-85. After graduating, Page became an assistant coach for the Majors. In 1989, he became the head coach of the team.

34 seasons and 815 wins later, Page is still the head coach for the Majors.

“I still love what I’m doing. I get up every morning excited to get out here and practice and get after it,” Page said.

As Page prepares for year 35, he’s excited about this year’s team… though that’s not abnormal for him.

“Each year I think this senior class is one of the best I’ve ever seen,” he said, “and my wife will tell me, ‘you say that every year.’”

With his 815 career wins, Page is 11th among active NCAA Division III coaches, and 36th all-time. In addition to more than 800 career wins, Page has multiple coach of the year awards, nine conference championships, eight NCAA regional births, an NCAA College World Series appearance in 2013, and in 2009, the Majors were ranked #1 in the nation for the first time ever.

Despite all those accomplishments, Page’s favorite part of his three decades as a head coach is the relationships he’s built with his players.

“All those things are special, but what’s neat for me is these guys play, give everything they’ve got, they go out, and they’re calling and they’re coming back,” he said. “Getting texts from people whose kids played for me 15, 20 years ago, it’s just incredible.”

During his long career, Page has had a great impact on the hundreds of young men he’s coached in that time.

“Life is more than just baseball. It’s more than winning or losing. I think it was only about the left column for me, it would be empty,” he said. “These guys probably get sick of me every once in a while, doing another life talk, or whatever, but it is important. They’ve let me know how much that meant to them later on.”

“He’s the ultimate players’ coach,” said Kirk Kinard, who played for Page from 1992-96. “He’s easy to get along with. He connected with his players and still does, and still carries that reputation. So, Millsaps is lucky to have had him as long as they have.”

Page coaches his players at a point in their lives where they’re transitioning from high school to life after school, from teenagers to young men.

“I wouldn’t want to play for anybody else, I can’t imagine playing for anybody else,” said senior pitcher Wil Wood. “It was the best decision of my life to play for him. He’s changed my life, he’s like a second father to me.”

“The longer you play for him, the more you realize how much he’s teaching you, and it all kind of clicks,” said graduate third baseman Chris Hart. “One day, you kind of learn a lot about the game, learn how to be a good dude just all around.”

In the fall, it was announced that Page will be inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in the summer of 2023. When he found out, he called all of his kids to tell them the good news.

“Each one of them they were so excited, and that’s when I really got excited,” he said.

Page received countless calls and messages from former players after the news broke.

“It wasn’t a surprise to me, but it was almost a given to us that at some point he’d receive it,” Kinard said. “I think it’s special for him to be able to appreciate it while he’s still coaching.”

Despite the news not being a surprise to his players, Page said he was still surprised by it and was stunned that his name would be alongside guys like Walter Payton and Jerry Rice.

“You think of those names and you’re like wait a minute, I’m going to be in a group with them?” he said. “So, it is humbling. I know it’s a cliche but it’s a truth in this one.”

Page doesn’t have a target for how long he’s going to coach, or how many wins he wants to get before he retires, but said he is ‘rounding third and headed towards home.’

“We’ll all celebrate when I retire, maybe one day,” Page said. “If anybody shows up, I’ll buy, and we’ll have some good memories and good talks.”

Page and the Majors open the 2023 season on Feb. 10, hosting LeTourneau University at Twenty Field.

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