Billy Emerson now has one more significant achievement to add to an already accomplished list of baseball milestones and involvements.
The Vienna native and resident recently was chosen to be inducted into St. Paul VI Catholic High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame. The 1989 Madison High School graduate is the current head baseball coach and athletic director at Paul VI.
“It was exciting to hear about being honored like this,” Emerson said. “Being a part of Paul VI is awesome. It’s one of the best high-school athletic programs in the country.”
Emerson’s Paul VI baseball teams have won 295 games during his 16 seasons as head coach – from 2003 to 2012, then from 2017 to the present. Under Emerson, the Panthers have won multiple conference (three) and Division I private-school state (four) titles and have been nationally ranked eight times.
He has been chosen Coach of the Year by six different organizations and was selected Coach of the Decade by one online publication.
Some 80 of Emerson’s players moved on to play in college, and 10 on the professional level.
Overall, Emerson has 316 victories as a head high-school baseball coach. He held that position at Annandale and T.C. Williams high schools before Paul VI.
Emerson has been the Paul VI athletic director for 12 years now, the second-longest tenured in school history and the fourth overall in that position.
Emerson played high-school baseball at Madison under the late coach Don Roth, and before that was a standout Vienna Little League and Vienna Babe Ruth player. After high school, Emerson first played at Montgomery County Rockville on the junior college level, then moved on to join the Division I George Mason University squad.
Emerson pitched professionally for a season in the independent Frontier League. He later was invited to the Houston Astros spring training, but that never worked out because of a baseball strike that season.
“Wow. What a wonderful honor and so much deserved. Don would have been so proud of you,” said Don Roth’s wife, JoAnn.
Among his other coaching duties, Emerson has worked as an assistant coach under the late and longtime manager Burt Crump for the Vienna Post 180 American Legion team, and during the summer as the first manager of the Chili Dogs of the recent startup Northern Virginia College League, and before that in the Clark Griffith League.
Emerson also worked on the grounds crew for a while with the Washington Nationals.
“If it’s about baseball for me, I’ve always wanted to be involved in everything there is about the game,” Emerson said.
A ceremony and brunch to honor the new Paul VI inductees is scheduled for Saturday morning, Feb. 11 at 10:30 a.m. at International Country Club in Fairfax. Inductees also will be recognized during halftime of a home Paul VI boys basketball game on Friday night, Feb. 10.