Augie Garrido called it a ballgame the other day. Now that he’s gone, we can say what Garrido would never want to hear – he is the greatest Fresno State alum in the history of ever, and it’s not even close.
The former Bulldogs baseball player did more than win an NCAA-record 1,975 baseball games from Fullerton to Texas. And, his five College World Series are no doubt as cherry as cake toppers come.
The reason Garrido lived up to his No. 1 jersey number: he won NCAA titles in four straight decades, which is unfathomably more difficult than it reads.
He won in the ’70s with long-haired groovies. He won in the ’80s with, like, Valley boys. He won in the ’90s with grunge heads, and again in the double-oughts with Generation X-Boxers.
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Most coaches can reach one generation. Some can touch two. But four?
There were better technical coaches out there, no doubt. He faced smarter game managers, absolutely. But nobody, nobody, found a way to win his way through so many generational gaps.
Best college baseball coach ever, no matter how soon his wins record falls.
Reach for greatness
Attn: Fresno State President Joseph “Bullpup” Castro.
Be bold is a great thought. Be smart is an ever better plan.
Remember that as you make two hires that will determine how bold and smart you look on the other side.
You need to find a men’s basketball coach who can win an NCAA Tournament game while working with chicken scratch for a budget.
You need to find an athletics director who can find his way into all those untapped pockets in the booster field.
Miss on either count, and your toy department will keep losing money hand over fist into the next decade.
It can be done
Speaking of NCAA basketball, think on this is you’re mourning the loss of Rodney Terry to UTEP.
Terry didn’t win a single NCAA Tournament game in seven years, and made just one appearance at the tournament he got paid to reach. You can blame the total lack of resources all you want, but if you give a guy forever to get the job done, he’ll take forever to get the job done.
Want to know the type of low-budget operations to win a March game the past seven years?
Morehead State d. No. 4 Louisville in 2011. Lehigh d. No. 2 Duke in 2012. Florida Gulf Coast d. No. 2 Georgetown in 2013. North Dakota State d. No. 5 Oklahoma in 2014.
Shall we go on?
Oh yeah. No. 16 University of Maryland-Baltimore County 74, No. 1 overall seed Virginia 54 on Friday. Bet their coach spends all day complaining about empty seats back home and interviewing for jobs while his current team flies home without him on a road trip.
At some point, Fresno State has to exchange the pumpkin for a carriage.