Longtime Lincoln coach wins 400th game

Coach Stuart Piraro recently hit the milestone win in 24th season

Lincoln baseball coach Stuart Piraro recently recorded his 400th career win. However, Piraro is quick to divert the spotlight cast on his achievements to his players. 

“They’re the ones that go out there and win those games, they’re the ones that have to throw the strikes, the ones that have to put the ball in play, the ones that have to make the plates,” he said. 

Piraro’s history and legacy in San Jose is wide reaching. He attended San Jose High School and became an assistant coach at Homestead High School afterwards, then, he lent his skills to Gunderson High School, all the while only being a few years older than his players. For the last 24 years, however, Piraro has been teaching special ed and guiding the baseball team to victory at Lincoln.

Surprisingly, the sheer mass of victories does not seem to weigh on Piraro at all. Instead of focusing on centennial achievements, Piraro emphasizes short term goals.

“It’s always the next one. So, if I’m at 404 right now, the next important thing is 405. It’s one game at a time in the big picture,” he said.

Piraro similarly applies this ultra focused perspective on training by prioritizing small tweaks in technique and behavior to better his players. These little changes build confidence, momentum, and aggregate into astounding outcomes.

“[Winning] is the product but we really try to stress the process. When you focus on the process and you’re efficient at it, the product can take care of itself,” he explained. 

With his extensive experience, Piraro deeply understands the demands of quality coaching. While the game of baseball remains reliably familiar, new generations of players require adaptive coaching. When he was in high school, a coach’s word was gospel, he reflected. Today he’s noticed that “You have to earn the respect of your players through being fair, being consistent, and knowledgeable.”

As our conversation traveled from his baseball history to coaching philosophy and gratitude for those around him, I closed by asking Piraro if retirement is in his future. He responded matter of factly, “No. I keep taking it one year at a time. It’s a huge part of my life, It’s something that I love.”