Pat Casey Retires After 24 Years At Oregon State
Pat Casey on Thursday will retire as Oregon State’s head coach and associate head coach Pat Bailey will be elevated to interim head coach for the 2019 season, sources told Baseball America. Casey’s surprising decision came less than three months after he led the Beavers to the national championship, his third at the program’s helm.
Casey, 59, was head coach at Oregon State for 24 years, compiling a 900-458-6 record in the role. All-time as a head coach, including his seven seasons as head coach at Division III George Fox (Ore.), he went 1,071-572-7.
Casey will remain at Oregon State as a senior associate athletic director/special assistant to athletic director Scott Barnes. In a statement, Casey gave some insight into his decision to retire.
“I have always expected that I be at the same level at which we ask our players day in and day out, and right now, I’m not sure I can’t do that, but I’m also not certain I can,” he said. “Therefore, I believe it is the right time to step down as head coach of the Oregon State baseball program.”
Bailey, like Casey, was head coach at George Fox before joining the Oregon State staff. He won the 2004 national title with the Bruins and is the winningest coach in program history with a 353-158 record. He has been on Casey’s staff in Corvallis for the last 11 seasons.
Casey, the 2006 Coach of the Year, built Oregon State, a place with little baseball tradition, into one of college baseball’s premier programs. He guided Oregon State to back-to-back national championships in 2006-07, defeating North Carolina in the finals both times. He led the Beavers to six College World Series appearances, 12 NCAA Tournament appearances and five conference championships. His success at Oregon State showed college baseball could be successful in the Pacific Northwest and other nontraditional baseball hotbeds.
When Casey arrived in Corvallis, Oregon State had not been to the CWS since 1952 and had not made the NCAA Tournament since 1986. That all changed in 2005 when he led the Beavers to the NCAA Tournament for the first time and they broke through to Omaha.
“When we went to the World Series in ’05, it changed absolutely everything,” Casey said. “It changed everything. It changed the way kids came to the north. It changed our stadium, our fan base, everything for us.”
Oregon State’s emergence on the national scene forever cemented Casey’s place in the sport’s history. He was in 2010 voted the top college coach of the decade by coaches around the country in a poll done by Baseball America. Oregon State’s run the last two seasons – it went 56-6 in 2017 and 55-12-1 en route to the 2018 national title – only served to cement that standing.
The Beavers are set up to continue their success in the near future. All-American catcher Adley Rutschman, the CWS Most Outstanding Player, is an early favorite to be the first overall pick in the 2019 draft. Righthander Kevin Abel was named Freshman of the Year after a stellar CWS. The Beavers have consistently recruited at a high level and are considered one of the best developmental programs in the country.
But as Casey becomes the latest longtime coach to head for retirement, joining the likes of Texas’ Augie Garrido, Stanford’s Mark Marquess, UC Irvine’s Mike Gillespie and Miami’s Jim Morris, who have all retired in the last few years with more than 1,000 victories, Oregon State will have a new voice guiding the program.