CHS baseball coach Don Borgini retires – Enquirer Democrat
By JACKSON WILSON
Inquire Democrat Reporter
Don Borgini recently submitted a letter of resignation and plans to retire after five seasons as Carlinville High School’s baseball head coach.
Borgini led the Cavaliers to 58 wins, including a school-best 22 throughout the 2019 campaign, which also featured a regional championship win. Carlinville has only lost three contests this entire season.
CHS returned with a heavy roster filled with key players in the spring of 2020, looking to avenge a tough draw that cut short their historic run in the first round of Sections. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic dashed those hopes and dreams just a week before opening day.
In many ways, Borgini is set to become “the greatest coach to ever take the reins of the program”.
Borgini has worked tirelessly for the past six years to improve Carlinville’s football and baseball facilities and was the primary individual who spearheaded the “All Cavies on Turf” project.
Borgini also coached baseball at Virden High School for 15 seasons earlier in his career.
Borgini was previously a Hall of Fame football coach who spent 32 years on the sidelines before hanging up his whistle in 2014. He won 226 at Virden, Carlinville and Gillespie and took his teams to the playoffs 23 times.
Borgini never achieved the feat of coaching in an Illinois High School Association state championship game, but he came close on several occasions.
In 17 years at Virden, Borgini reached the quarter-finals three times and lost each by three points or less – 34-32 at East St. Louis Assumption (1986); 35-34 in overtime against Greenfield (1996); and 16-13 at Dakota (1999).
Borgini also had some memorable runs during his eight-year tenure at Carlinville before handing over the reins to Chad Easterday – his assistant at the time. The furthest trip came in 2001, when the Cavaliers reached a Class 3A quarterfinal before being blitzed 35-14 at DuQuoin.
After being inducted into the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association (IHSFCA) Hall of Fame in 2007, Borgini led his alma mater Gillespie Miners to a Class 2A quarter-final against rival Staunton in 2013. Gillespie, who lost 30-14, concluded that campaign with 10 wins and only two losses.
As an athlete, Borgini played for a pair of legendary training icons, who each have a facility named in their honor today.
Borgini stood out at the high school and college levels.
Borgini took to the football field under Don “Duke” Dobrino in his hometown of Gillespie, then played baseball for Duffy Bass at Illinois State University at Normal. Borgini’s talents caught the eye of Major League scouts and he then pitched for the Elizabethton Twins, a minor league affiliate of the Minnesota Twins organization, in 1981.
Borgini said he plans to continue helping the CHS football team on a part-time basis while spending more time with his family, especially his grandchildren.
Borgini is currently coaching his grandson Luka’s 9U Little League baseball team and “loving every minute”.