Derek Bingham thrives on helping build freshmen players into young men when they leave the Lake Washington High baseball program as seniors. Each player is a vital link to the program’s success.
When it all comes together on the field, teams can win state baseball titles, and that’s exactly what the Kangs did last season in the 3A division.
Bingham has been selected by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) to receive the 2016 baseball NFHS Coaches Association State Coaches Award.
“On behalf of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA), I can say, without hesitation, that you represent the true meaning of the spirit of coaching our youth through interscholastic activities,” WIAA Executive Director Mike Colbrese said in a letter to Bingham. “You are most deserving of the honor of this recognition and have made all of us in the state of Washington proud.”
Added Bingham: “I feel extremely honored to receive this award. I truly feel like this is a team effort — all of the players and coaches in our great program contributed to an incredible season, which allowed me to be recognized by the National Federation.”
Hired in 2005, Bingham has been the head coach of the team for the past 12 years. During his tenure, the Kangs have compiled a record of 196-89, including a 143-52 record in the KingCo conference. They have made the playoffs each of his 12 seasons, appearing in eight conference or district championship games. They have won five KingCo championships and made seven trips to the state tournament.
Bingham is proud to see former players become successful fathers, husbands and members of their respective communities.
“The greatest compliment I can receive is to have former players give back to the game — whether as coaches in other programs or as members of our coaching staff at LW,” said Bingham, noting that six members of the current LW coaching staff are graduates of the Kang program and five of them played for him.