Make no mistake about it, Rod Battles is a Duncan Demon all the way through.

Battles entered athletics in Duncan and exited the same way. And in the middle, he did a lot of winning. In view of his contributions to Duncan athletics, Battles will be inducted into the Duncan Athletic Hall of Fame Monday night during the Duncan All-Sports Assembly at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium along with Fritz Greer.

A reception for both inductees will be held from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. at the Stephens County Museum in Fuqua Park. Sandwiches, light snacks and drinks will be offered.

Battles began his athletic career playing baseball in the DYC program as well as American Legion. He played football for Earl Presley and was named All-Boomer Conference his senior year as well as the outstanding defensive player against Putnam City that same year.

He also played baseball under John Humphrey for three years and was named All-Boomer Conference his senior year.

It was in baseball that Battles made his mark in college, earning a scholarship to pitch for Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He pitched for the Bulldogs for four years and had the lowest E.R.A. on the team during his sophomore campaign.

During Battles’ senior year, SWOSU beat Emporia State in the Region 5 championship game and advanced to the N.A.I.A. playoffs where it finished fifth. He graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree and earned his Masters degree in 1975.

Battles began his teaching and coaching career at Sayre after serving one year in Army Basic Training and attending Advanced Individual Training and Drill Sergeant School.

He came back home in 1975 when he was hired to be an assistant coach in football, basketball and baseball. He was named the head baseball coach in 1978, a role he served in for 21 years.

During the first year, the Demons won the Southern Oklahoma Invitational for the first time in school history. It was the first of eight championship. Duncan also finished as the runner-up five times. That team finished 21-11 and lost to Altus 8-7 in the Western Regional finals.

Battles led his team to seven regional championships, advancing to the state semi-finals in 1982 and finishing runner-up in 1988.

His career record in baseball was 434-303-2.

The longtime Duncan coach was named The Duncan Banner Baseball Coach of the Year five times and was selected Oklahoma Coaches Association Region 5 Coach of the Year in 1981 and 1982. He was the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State Coach in 1984 and served as the Oklahoma Baseball Coaches Association Region 5 Representative for five years.

Battles was also an assistant football coach for 18 years and helped coach four state championship teams, winning two under Ray Hall and two under Charles Lynch.

He coached as an assistant 8th grade football coach until he retired in 2006 and also returned to coach freshman baseball and served as an assistant varsity coach under his former player and assistant coach Tim Hightower.

When Battles retired in 2006, he had 35 years of experience.

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