Ron Oestrike

Ronald Ellsworth Oestrike
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 2019
Connection to Michigan: Eastern Michigan University
Primary position: Head Coach


 

For over two decades, Ron Oestrike was Eastern Michigan Eagles baseball.

Oestrike lettered in both baseball and football as a student at Eastern Michigan, graduating in 1954. After earning his master’s degree at the University of Michigan, he served in the U.S. Army and coached football at Trenton High School. In 1963, however, Oestrike came back to Ypsilanti as Eagles head baseball coach, a position he would hold through 1987.

During his 23 seasons at the helm, Oestrike’s Eagles soared to a 657-508-8 record. They won the 1970 NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) national championship, finishing 41-11, and then set their sights even higher. In 1975, the Eagles posted a 37-20-1 mark, won the Mid-American Conference championship and punched their first ticket to the College World Series, where they finished fifth. In 1976, they went 46-16 and went right back to Omaha, finishing as the national runner-up to the University of Arizona. The Sporting News took notice, naming Oestrike its NCAA National Coach of the Year.

Oestrike became a member of the E-Club Athletics Hall of Fame in 1979. Six years later, he was named president of the ABCA (American Baseball Coaches Association). Five years after that, in 1990, he was inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame. In 2017, the Mid-American Conference followed suit, inducting Oestrike into the MAC Hall of Fame.

In 23 years, Oestrike was both named MAC Coach of the Year four times and NCAA Regional Coach of the Year four times. His Eagles included six All-Americans and 22 All-MAC First-Team selections, with Bob Owchinko, Bob Welch, John Martin, Pat Sheridan, Glenn Gulliver, Bryan Clutterbuck, Mickey Weston and Chris Hoiles all making it to the Major Leagues from EMU.

Ron Oestrike’s name lives on in Ypsilanti: Oestrike Stadium, built in 1971, the year of EMU’s NAIA national championship, remains the home of Eagles baseball to this day.


 
 
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