Ed Cheff, who led Lewis-Clark (Idaho) State to 16 national championships at the NAIA level in 34 seasons, announced his retirement Wednesday as head baseball coach. He'll be replaced by Gary Picone, currently LCSC's assistant athletic director, while Gus Knickrehm will remain as the associate head coach.
Cheff posted a 1,705-430-2 record with the Warriors, a .799 winning percentage. His win total ranks second only to Wichita State’s Gene Stephenson’s 1,724 wins with the same program. His win total also is fourth all-time among all college baseball coaches.
“Ed Cheff’s accomplishments at LCSC are unmatched in college baseball,” Picone said. “His career victory total combined with 16 national titles put him in a league of his own. Those of us who had the opportunity to work directly with Ed know that he positively influenced hundreds of student-athletes and had immeasurable impact on the college and the community."
The Warriors have an active 30-year streak of 40-win seasons and have made 28 trips to the NAIA World Series under Cheff, so many that the Lewiston, Idaho, school has become the host for the event annually.
"I have decided to retire effective Sept. 1," Cheff said in a statement. "President (Anthony) Fernandez's decision to name Gary Picone as the new baseball coach will insure that the program remains competitive. Gary and I formed a partnership approach to running the baseball program when he was hired as the program's first full-time assistant coach in 1983-84. I have always had a great deal of respect for his coaching abilities and know he is the right guy for the job."
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