AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Augie Garrido, who won five College World Series titles with two schools and still ranks No. 1 on the career victories list in college baseball, died Thursday. He was 79.
The University of Texas, where he wrapped up his extraordinary career that spanned six decades, announced the death and said Garrido had recently been hospitalized following a stroke.
“We lost one of the greatest coaches of all time, a truly special Longhorn legend and college athletics icon,” athletic director Chris Del Conte said. “If you were fortunate enough to have spent time with Augie, or if you followed him in any way, he had a great effect on you with his brilliant combination of wisdom, wit and charm. He was just an incredible coach, molder of men and a great person.”
Garrido won three national championships with Cal State Fullerton in 1979, 1984 and 1995. He also won titles at Texas in 2002 and 2005. He last coached the Longhorns in 2016, leaving the game with 1,975 career wins dating to 1969. He was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016.
Garrido also coached at San Francisco State, Cal Poly and Illinois. He was a special assistant in the Texas athletic department since his final season with the Longhorns.
Garrido won 25 conference championship and national coach of the year honors six times. He was the first coach to win national championships with different schools. Over his career, Garrido’s teams played in the College World Series 15 times.
He spent 20 years at Texas, which hired him away from Fullerton in 1997 to replace Cliff Gustafson, who won two national championships with the Longhorns and had the program on a regular rotation at the College World Series.
Garrido’s personality of California cool and his aura as a Zen-master coach who talked as much about thinking about winning as swinging a bat, took some time to take root at Texas. But once he did, Garrido had the Longhorns back among the nation’s top programs. His best years with the Longhorns were from 2002 to 2010 when he won the two national titles and had six 50-win seasons.
“When we were looking for a baseball coach, we already knew that Augie was the guy we needed, and he did not disappoint,” former Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said. “He and his kids set the standard that caught fire within the athletics department when they won the national championship in 2002, showing all of our sports what could be done at the highest level.”
Garrido’s teams produced 15 first-round draft picks in the Major League Baseball and 27 players won All-America honors 34 times.
The Vallejo, California, native played college baseball at Fresno State, where he played in the College World Series in 1959. He played six seasons in the minors with the Cleveland Indians organization before taking his first head coaching job at Sierra High School in Tollhouse, California, in 1966.