Head Baseball Coach Ric Lessmann Announces Retirement
Head Baseball Coach Ric Lessmann Announces Retirement.
St. Louis, Mo., May 25, 2010 – Washington University in St. Louis head baseball coach Ric Lessmann announced his retirement on Tuesday, May 25, effective immediately. Lessmann, the winningest baseball coach in Washington University history, spent 17 seasons at the helm of the Bears’ baseball program, compiling an overall record of 396-231-1.
Citing health concerns as the primary reason for his departure, Lessmann leaves the Washington University baseball program as the most successful coach in the team’s 65-year history.
He guided Washington University to 12-straight winning seasons, dating back to the 1999 campaign, and his 2006 squad posted a program-record 34-7 overall mark. Eleven of his 16 teams won at least 20 games and he guided four squads to postseason play, including a stretch of three-straight NCAA appearances from 2005-2007.
“I have enjoyed my relationships with all of the coaches and staff members at Washington University,” Lessmann said. “My congratulations to all the coaches and accomplishments they have achieved with what is truly an outstanding athletic department. The daily conversations with all of my colleagues will be missed.”
Lessmann came to Washington University in 1994, after spending 27 seasons as the head coach at Meramec Community College. He never experienced a losing season at Meramec, making nine College World Series appearances and winning the 1974 national championship.
In 1995 Lessmann became just the 18th coach in collegiate baseball history to eclipse 1,000 career wins, and he was the third winningest baseball coach in junior college history.
“Ric Lessmann was a college baseball coaching legend and a St. Louis baseball icon,” Washington University Director of Athletics John Schael said. “We are grateful for the many contributions coach Lessmann made to Washington University baseball and intercollegiate athletics during the past 17 seasons.”
He was inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 1991, and was a 1992 inductee into the St. Louis Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame. In 45 seasons as a collegiate baseball coach he tallied an overall record of 1,365-556-1 for a winning percentage of .711.
The Washington University Department of Athletics will begin a national search for its head baseball coaching position.