Springfield, Mo. — It’s impossible to imagine Missouri State baseball without Keith Guttin.

Number two has been in the Bears dugout for four decades.

In fact there were no dugouts when he coached his first bears game.

“I don’t think we had dugouts. No I’m serious, I think we still had the benches.” Bears head coach Keith Guttin said. “It was Indiana State doubleheader at Meador park we won the first game 8-2, and lost the second game.”

There were a lot more wins in coach G’s future.

Nearing the end of his 40th season, Guttin has won 1,334 games.

Guttin played second base for the Bears, and he’s the all-time winningest coach at Missouri State.

He’s number three of active D-1 coaches and 16th in NCAA baseball history.

“Yea, yea. Without doubt you love it more when you win,” Guttin said. “Let’s be honest. You know take batting practice two hours before. I even enjoy watching that

He’s also enjoyed teaching the game.

Guttin’s coached thousands of players in his tenure, 120 of them have signed professional contracts.

And 18 have played in the major leagues.

“We’ve had ups and we’ve had downs,” Guttin said. “But just trying to be consistent for the players. Someone they can approach and have relationships with. It doesn’t always end up perfectly but most of the time it does.”

Missouri State has won 61 percent of Guttin coached games.

And he has a dozen 40-win seasons.

In 2003, Guttin’s Bears reached the promised land, the College World Series in Omaha.

But Guttin says the 2015 campaign is his most memorable.

The bears hosted an NCAA regional and advanced to the super regionals before losing to Arkansas.

“I would say 2015 hosting a regional was phenomenal. And winning the Regional,” Guttin said. “And just for Springfield, for Missouri State, for the players and their families. The place was packed it was electric. That was a highlight, that was a big highlight for me.”

As Keith Guttin’s career enters the late innings, the lifetime Bear looks ahead to the next game and the next challenge.

He loves baseball, Bears baseball.

“It’s a game within a game….it’s kind of unique and always different,” Guttin said. “And the most important player on the field changes every game, that’s your pitcher.”

One thing that never changes is the man watching from the bears dugout, Keith Guttin.

“Occasionally someone will say why haven’t you left here,” Guttin said. “I think the two things that are most important where you live and who you work with.”