LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Thundering 13 are going into the Little League World Series with a manager who has four decades of coaching experience.
Bud Maddux won his first championship in 1977, and this could be his 11th.
East Texas News talked to those who know him the best.
The Thundering 13 are grabbing all the headlines, but the secret to the success comes from Bud Maddux.
"He is the intangible that all the teams strive for," said Ronnie King, a member of Maddux's 1977 team. "He's got the "it " factor."
Bud Maddux's coaching career started 41 years ago in the Lufkin Dixie League, and through all the years, he has reached ultimate success.
"We had lots of fun," said Judy Maddux, Bud's wife. "We spent every summer playing baseball. It's just been a wild ride."
In 1977, a bearded Maddux reached 1977 Dixie Majors World Series with a group of high school boys
"You know, Bud's knowledge, his confidence, is going to rub off on them and you could see that in the regional tournament," King said. "You had guy after guy step up."
Six years ago, Bud Maddux handed over the Lufkin youth baseball program to the city of Lufkin, and Little League was born. Bud stayed in select ball, and it wasn't until this summer that he came back to the league to coach the All Stars.
"He was miserable," Judy Maddux said. "I think coming back to coach another team was wonderful for him."
"He wasn't stupid," said Mike Akridge, Lufkin's parks and recreation director. "He knew at that level, these kids were a special group of kids."
Now the Thundering 13 have brought back the joy ...
"He loves the kids and he likes working with them," Judy Maddux said. "He always said Baseball gives you life lessons, and it really does."
"He loves working with kids. The age doesn't matter," said Rusty Ford, another member of the 1977 team. "I think working with these younger kids has been better for him both on and off the field."
"There is a total respect," Akridge said. "They wouldn't want anyone else out there but Bud coaching."
Maddux has 10 championships, but the Little League World Series could be the ultimate accomplishment.
"To win that would be the cherry on top of the cake," Judy Maddux said.
"I know how he is. I know he is excited to be there," said Kyle Lovelace, Bud and Judy's grandson. "I know it is an honor, but I know that he is going to win."
Lovelace played for Bud Maddux's Select Baseball team.