Don F. Bridges

Administrator/Coach/Contest Official
Inducted 2002

Don Bridges has coached, officiated and served as an athletic administrator on both the school and county levels during his 26 years in Florida.

Before moving to Florida, Bridges was a high school baseball coach in Georgia for eight years. During those eight years where he compiled an overall record of 100 wins and 60 losses. While coaching in Georgia, Bridges officiated high school basketball for almost 10 years and worked the 1976 Georgia High School Association state finals.

In 1977, Bridges became the athletic director for Lake Wales High School and one year later, he accepted the position of head baseball coach, compiling an overall record of 161-102 in eight years. He led Lake Wales to two appearances in the FHSAA Florida Baseball Finals and was named the Polk County Baseball Coach of the Year in 1984. Bridges served as the assistant coach of the North team in the FACA All-Star Baseball Game in 1980 and head coach of the North team in 1985.

Among his career highlights, Bridges coached the 1992 World Series’ Most Valuable Player, Pat Borders, for four years. Borders played for the Toronto Blue Jays from 1988 through 1994 and ended his 13-year major league career in 2001 after a year with the Seattle Mariners. Borders also played on Team USA in the 2000 Olympic Games.

Bridges now serves as the District Director of Athletics for Polk County Schools where he supervises the athletic programs of the county’s 13 public high schools. He has played an instrumental role in bringing to Polk County, and managing, FHSAA Florida Finals state championship events in girls and boys basketball, golf, softball, tennis, girls volleyball, boys weightlifting and wrestling. Bridges also has been a registered FHSAA contest official in baseball and basketball for more than 10 years.