It's the Longhorns This Weekend

  • By John Antonik
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  • May 02, 2014 07:45 AM
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Texas coach Augie Garrido is the winningest coach in NCAA Division I baseball history.
Submitted photo
If there was a Mount Rushmore for college baseball, Texas coach Augie Garrido’s face would certainly be on it, along with USC’s Rod Dedeaux, LSU’s Skip Bertman and probably Arizona State’s Jim Brock, although strong cases could be made for several others.
This weekend, area college baseball fans will get an opportunity to see Garrido’s 11th-ranked Longhorns in person when West Virginia plays a three-game series against them at Hawley Field.
“Texas is Texas,” said West Virginia coach Randy Mazey. “Traditionally, Texas has been one of the best teams in the history of college baseball.”
The same can also be said for its coach. In fact, Garrido is the all-time winningest coach in Division I baseball history with 1,906 career victories and counting following Tuesday’s 6-3 win over Prairie View A&M.
He is one of just three coaches in NCAA history with five or more NCAA titles and is one of only four coaches in the modern era of NCAA football, baseball and men’s or women’s basketball to lead teams from two different schools to national titles.
Rick Pitino has done it in men’s basketball with Kentucky and Louisville, Nick Saban has done it in football with LSU and Alabama and Andy Lopez has done it in college baseball with Arizona and Pepperdine.
Garrido’s coaching career began at San Francisco State in 1969 and includes stops at Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton and Illinois. But it was in Fullerton, Calif., where Garrido became nationally known, leading the Titans to seven College World Series trips and three NCAA titles in 1979, 1984 and 1995.
He took over Texas - one of college baseball’s most storied programs - in 1997 and three years later, he got the Longhorns back to the College World Series in 2000 with six additional appearances coming between 2002 and 2011.
Texas won national championships in 2002 and 2005 under Garrido.
He has coached three Golden Spikes winners, four National Players of the Year, six College World Series MVPs, 52 All-Americans and 119 professional players during his 46 seasons in the sport. Sixteen of his players have been selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft and he has been named National Coach of the Year six times, most recently in 2005.
This year, the Longhorns are 33-13 heading into this weekend’s series with the Mountaineers and are closing in on their 14th NCAA tournament trip under Garrido’s watch.
Texas is currently fourth in the Big 12 standings with a 10-8 record, two spots ahead of sixth-place West Virginia, now sporting a 7-7 conference mark after last weekend’s series sweep of Kansas State here in Morgantown.
Last year, the Mountaineers managed to take two out of three against the Longhorns in Austin.
“It’s going to be a treat for our kids to play against them and it’s going to be a treat for all of the fans to come out and see them play,” said Mazey. “We just can’t get caught up in the uniform they are wearing. We’ve just got to come out and play our game. Their pitchers have to throw it across the plate just like everyone else’s. As long as we do what we do I like our chances.”
This weekend’s series represents the final games to be played at the 43-year-old facility, named for late WVU athletic director Roy Hawley. Next year, West Virginia is scheduled to play its home games at a brand new $21 million ballpark currently under construction at the University Town Centre, located just west of Hawley Field across the Monongahela River on the hill overlooking both WVU campuses.
Carol Ramsburg, widow of late Mountaineer baseball coach Dale Ramsburg, will be on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before tonight’s game against the Longhorns. She was here to watch her husband coach the first-ever game at Hawley Field on April 9, 1970.
Bill Hawley, son of Hawley Field namesake Roy “Legs” Hawley, is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Sunday’s game against Texas – the final scheduled game at Hawley Field.
Many former WVU players will also be in town this weekend as guests of the WVU Varsity Club to help send out Hawley Field in style.
“There have been so many great players play on that field and so many players in general, and it’s a big alumni weekend for us and a lot of the guys,” said Mazey. “I hate to call them old-timers so we’ll call them young-timers, but a lot of guys are going to come back and stand on that field. It’s going to be an emotional weekend for a lot of people and an exciting weekend for the fans and the community.
“It’s something that we’re really looking forward to.”
Tonight’s game is scheduled to get underway at 6 p.m., Saturday’s game will start at 4 p.m. and the series will conclude with Sunday’s 1 p.m. finale.