Vic Radcliff Sr. and his son, Vic Radcliff Jr., coach baseball together at North Augusta High School. In fact, three generations of Radcliffs are hitting the fields at Riverview Park as Baron, the 14-year-old-son of Radcliff Jr., played on the Yellow Jacket's junior varsity team this year.
“It's been a good experience,” Radcliff Jr. said. “We've had a lot of success.”
These two baseball enthusiasts have quite impressive backgrounds in the sport. Vic Sr., originally from Walterboro, has been involved in sports most of his life and was recently inducted into the baseball hall of fame at USC Salkehatchie where he attended junior college. Radcliff Sr. has been working with the North Augusta High School program for about 16 years and just finished his eighth season as head baseball coach.
Vic Jr. was one of the many players this seasoned baseball coach has trained. Thanks to his father's coaching, Vic Jr. said he developed both strong baseball and life skills that he has helped him lead a successful career.
Vic Sr. definitely wanted his son to reach his full potential, but he helped him accomplish that without taking the fun out of the baseball.
“When I first started coaching him, I was fresh out of college myself, and I think I put a lot of pressure and a lot of high expectations on him at first,” Vic Sr. said. “I realized, as a father, that I needed to back off and allow him to just have fun playing the game but to also play hard.”
After graduating from North Augusta High School, Vic Jr. was drafted by minor league baseball team the Kansas City Royals. He later attended Capital University where he earned a bachelor's degree as an intervention specialist and a master's degree in education leadership from Michigan State University.
Vic Jr. found himself heading back to South Carolina in about 2008 to take a job with North Augusta High School.
“My motivation to come back here was to be able to teach at my alma mater and help my dad coach baseball,” Vic Jr. said.
The Radcliffs said that they work well together and are in agreement of what steps need to be taken to make their team successful. The Yellow Jackets have made it to the playoffs every year since 1994, Vic Jr. said.
But it's not all about winning for this father and son.
“What we try to do here is we want to see our kids succeed in our society,” Vic Jr. said. “We want to teach them how to be productive young men. We want to be good examples of what a dad looks like, what a man looks like and how you carry yourself. We try to do that through baseball. It's the platform we use to teach life through the game of baseball, and we have a good time doing it.”