College baseball coaching legend Augie Garrido, who led Cal Poly for three seasons in the early 1970s, died Thursday in Newport Beach following complications from a stroke suffered Sunday. He was 79 years old.
Garrido went on from Cal Poly to guide Cal State Fullerton and Texas to five NCAA National Championships during a 48-year coaching career.
Garrido coached Cal Poly to an 84-63-1 record from 1970-72, which included a 39-11-1 campaign in 1971. During his career, he led programs at San Francisco State, Illinois and won national championships with Cal State Fullerton in 1979, 1984 and 1995. He also won NCAA titles in 2002 and 2005 at Texas, where he coached for 20 years until he retired in 2016.
"We lost one of the greatest coaches of all time, a truly special Longhorn legend and college athletics icon," Texas athletic director and former Cal Poly athletics advancement director Chris Del Conte said. "If you were fortunate enough to have spent time with Augie, or if you followed him in any way, he had a great effect on you with his brilliant combination of wisdom, wit and charm. He was just an incredible coach, molder of men and a great person."
Garrido won 25 conference championships and national coach of the year honors six times. He was the first coach to win national championships with different schools. Over his career, Garrido's teams played in the College World Series 15 times.
He spent 20 years at Texas, which hired him away from Fullerton in 1997 to replace Cliff Gustafson, who won two national championships with the Longhorns and had the program on a regular rotation at the College World Series.
"The fact you can win three national championships on the West Coast and then come to a different part of the world for our sport and win two more ... ," Texas A&M coach Rob Childress said. "He's the guy who set the bar higher than any of us will ever get to."
The Vallejo, California, native played college baseball at Fresno State, where he played in the College World Series in 1959. He played six seasons in the minors with the Cleveland Indians organization before taking his first head coaching job at Sierra High School in Tollhouse in 1966.
"This is a dark day for our sport," Childress said. "Augie Garrido was the godfather of college baseball."
Associated Press contributed to this story