Former Augusta College baseball coach and professional catcher Terry Childers died Tuesday after a battle with cancer. He was 66.
Childers played eight seasons as a catcher in the minor leagues before retiring following the 1975 season. He played in the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and Montreal Expos systems.
Childers was selected by the New York Yankees in the 36th round of the 1965 draft out of Richmond Academy, but he elected to play at Georgia Southern and was picked by the Cubs in the 28th round in 1968.
Childers became the first full-time head baseball coach for Augusta College when he was hired in 1980, and he remained there five seasons, totaling 133 wins. After a rough first season that resulted in only 14 wins, his 1981 team had an 18-win improvement, and his teams never won fewer than 27 games the next three years.
Childers had four sons play baseball at Westside under coach Gerald Barnes, and all four played professionally.
Terry Childers Jr. played in the Expos and New York Mets systems after winning the College World Series in 1990 as the starting catcher for Georgia. Scott Childers was Childers Jr.’s teammate at Westside and went on to be a minor league umpire.
Matt and Jason Childers had extended minor league careers and made brief stints in the majors.
Childers also had a daughter, Sally, who played basketball at Westside.
“He was a good coach and good athlete himself, but I think he enjoyed watching his kids play more than anything,” Barnes said. “He was a good man and loved his family. He raised them well.”
Childers’ athleticism rubbed off on his family, which totaled two national collegiate titles and five high school state championships.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the chapel of Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Directors. The family will receive friends Friday from 5-7 p.m. at the funeral home, 214 Davis Road.