Augie Garrido, the winningest baseball coach in NCAA history, has accepted a position as special assistant to the athletic director, stepping down as Texas’ head baseball coach after 20 seasons.
After needing to win the Big 12 Conference tournament to make regionals last year, many believed Garrido entered the 2016 season on the hot seat. Texas was never able to get on track this year, and finished 25-32 and in seventh place in the Big 12. Its season ended Saturday with a loss to Texas Christian in the Big 12 tournament semifinals.
While Texas has scuffled by its lofty standards in recent years—it reached the College World series in 2014, but has not hosted a regional since 2011—Garrido’s career has been exemplary. One of five coaches to have twice been named Coach of the Year, Garrido, 76, has won five national championships and has a career record of 1,975-952-9 in 48 years as a head coach.
“I owe everyone at The University of Texas a million heartfelt thank yous,” said Garrido in a statement Monday afternoon. “I came here to serve and I am so proud to be able to continue to serve The University in my new role as Special Assistant to Mike Perrin.”
Garrido was an outfielder for three seasons at Fresno State and helped the Bulldogs reach the 1959 College World Series. He is one of just 11 men to have reached the CWS as both a player and a head coach. He played five seasons in the minor leagues in the Indians’ system, advancing to Triple-A.
Following his playing days, Garrido began his college coaching career at San Francisco State in 1969. After one season, he moved on to Cal Poly for three years. Then, in 1973 he arrived at Cal State Fullerton.
It was at Fullerton that Garrido’s legend was born. He helped the Titans transition to Division I, leading them to the CWS in 1975, their first season of playing at the highest level. He won his first national championship in 1979 and added another in 1984.
Garrido became Illinois’ coach in 1988, and spent three seasons in that role. He then returned to Fullerton and won another national championship in 1995, a team led by Mark Kotsay and named by Baseball America as the best college team of the 20th Century. Garrido’s second stint with the Titans ended after the 1996 season, when he took over at Texas. In 21 seasons at Fullerton, he went 929-391-6.
Garrido has taken the Longhorns to Omaha eight times, won two national titles (2002 and 2005) and twice been runner-up (2004 and 2009). Wearing the burnt orange of Texas, he set the Division I record for victories in 2003, and the all divisions mark in 2014.
Beyond his own success, Garrido has developed a large coaching tree. Counted among those proteges are Oregon coach George Horton, who won his 1,000th career game this season, Tennessee coach Dave Serrano, the 2007 Coach of the Year, and Cal State Fullerton coach Rick Vanderhook.
“Augie has long been among the best coaches in college athletics, an exceptional developer of young men, great leader and tremendous representative of our University,” athletic director Mike Perrin said in a statement. “I have deep appreciation, admiration and gratitude for all that he has accomplished in his 20 years leading our baseball program. From the two National Championships he brought to Texas, to the many thrilling College World Series performances, Big 12 titles and becoming the all-time winningest coach in college baseball history, he has a vast list of success stories, but none greater than the positive impact he has made on the countless numbers of student-athletes he has coached. We are so grateful for all he has given and everything he’s done for Longhorn baseball, Texas athletics and our great university.”