May 28, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Retirement hasn’t kept Alan Dugard from staying involved with OC softball

Alan Dugard supported Woodbridge softball last week during the tournament named in his honor at Bill Barber Park. (Photo: OC Sports Zone, Tim Burt).

Alan Dugard coached his share of softball games for the Woodbridge High School softball team, including many in the softball tournament named after him.

Dugard, 89, watched Woodbridge play from the stands during games at the recent Alan Dugard Softball Classic but he continued his routine of hitting infield for Woodbridge. He was also the Warriors’ acting head coach for one game earlier this season in another tournament.

“It’s going well. I practice with them every day and I come at the beginnings of the games and hit their infield and try to get them ready,” Dugard said. “It’s a really young team. They’re prone to making little mistakes. I talk to them a little about that.”

Dugard was pleased to see the tournament get back on track and finish on time Saturday.

“It’s been going along pretty well, we had the rainout last Monday,” Dugard said of the Alan Dugard Classic. “But we made it up real well and things fell into place. Kim (Woodbridge coach Wojciechowski) does a great job, she’s been running around trying to organize everything.”

Dugard was tournament director for many years in the tournament and his wife Rosemary Dugard, who died in July 2019, ran the concession stand and always looked after the umpires who worked the event.

“She would bake dozens of cookies and have them ready for them,” Dugard said.

Dugard was Woodbridge’s softball coach for 24 years before retiring in 2014. He stepped down after leading Woodbridge softball teams to four CIF titles and 15 league crowns.

Dugard’s support is still appreciated at Woodbridge, where he taught full-time until 2019, retiring at the age of 87.

“To have the coach who coached me as a high school kid come back out and help my girls means a lot and to know that he’s meant so much to the softball community is amazing,” said Wojciechowski, the current coach. “I feel very special to have him in our Warrior family.”

Dugard, who will turn 90 in August, continues to keep busy. Besides being an author of numerous books, he took up piano about two years ago.

“I’ve been playing the piano and enjoying that, not much else, I have a big dog that takes care of me,” he said with a smile.

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com