MARIETTA, Ga. -- The old sports cliché is that you don't want to follow the legend.
But you want to be the one that follows the person who followed the legend.
When Chattahoochee Valley Community College named Adam Thomas its new baseball coach in June 1999, he was young enough at 23 not to worry about following the legendary B.R. Johnson.
Thomas had played for Johnson and helped him to win some of the 624 victories that dot Johnson's resume.
Now 15 years later, Thomas has proven CVCC correct as he earned win No. 500 Tuesday night as the Pirates crushed Georgia Highlands 14-5 in a game played at the East Cobb Complex.
"I have had a lot of good players and a lot of good assistants who have made me look like a genius," Thomas said.
"But I haven't won a game. I am just so humbled that the Good Lord let me be here.
"I know it is a significant number, and I don't want to downplay that."
Matt Evenson started and went 5 1-3 innings to pick up the win. He allowed one earned run on three hits.
John Holland hit a home and drove in three. James Cunningham had three hits and three RBIs.
Thomas said he was young enough when he was hired that he thought it was a great hire.
"Of course, looking back at it now, I wonder what they were doing hiring someone with no experience," Thomas said.
"But things just fell into place."
Thomas and the Pirates took their lumps the first two seasons. His first one the team finished 14-40-1. The second season was another losing campaign at 23-28.
"I certainly wasn't thinking about 500 wins that first year," Thomas said.
"I was just trying to learn how to coach, how to run a program, how to balance all that with my family.
"But I listened to my dad and others, and finally starting getting it."
Thomas, whose record is 500-295-1, played at Smiths Station before playing at CVCC.
"I have had such an amazing community behind me," Thomas said.
"I am just so thankful."