Pat Casey is arguably one of the greatest college baseball coaches of all time. If you don’t know who Casey is, he was the longtime Head Coach of the Oregon State Beavers team.
During his tenure in Oregon State he won three national championships, he retired earlier this week after taking a leave after the 2017-18 season. It’s time to pay respect to a true legend of the game.
He Put Corvallis On The Map
I understand that many people do not watch college baseball, it does not get the same love as college basketball or football.
Two decades ago no one knew that Oregon State and the city of Corvallis (where the campus is located) even had a baseball team. Upon the arrival of coach, everything changed. He along with the help of a talented staff, and great players, put the Beavers on the map.
OSU is located in a small town in comparison to other pac-12 schools. Some other schools are located in cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle and the Bay.
It was unlikely that he would win at OSU, but he did and he built a force to be reckoned with. You can throw out all the stats about his career as you’d like and we’ll get into that later, but that doesn’t begin to explain his impact on the program.
I self admittingly didn’t know who he was until his retirement earlier this week. But I did know about OSU’s dominant baseball program, and this is coming from a guy who watches practically no college baseball.
The Casey effect on the program can simply be captured by conversations my dad and I had.
For some reason we would discuss the Beavers like we actually knew something about the team. When the college world series rolled around we would always say things like the Beavs’ have a chance this year, there always good. We didn’t know the players, the coach, or even their record, but we knew the reputation of the program.
This is the ultimate achievement for a coach in a small-town, draw recognition to an unrecognizable place. This is the Casey effect.
The list of his career accomplishments are absolutely insane, it feels like an endless scroll. To make it a little bit simpler, they will be broken down into three categories.
1. Championships and Tournaments
As previously mentioned, he led OSU to three different National Championships. They won the ship in 2006, 2007, and in his final season as Head Coach in 2018.
The 2018 National Championship team won six elimination games before capturing the title. This was only the 2ndteam to do this in NCAA history, the first was the 2006 version of the Beavers also led by him.
OSU became the 5thteam in NCAA history to win back to back titles in 2006, and 2007.
Since joining OSU, his teams have made the NCAA postseason 12 times, and also set a school record making seven straight appearances from 2009-2015.
2. Players Success Under Him
Twenty different players coached by him have made an appearance in Major League Baseball, and just under thirty players have played some form of professional baseball.
116 players have been selected in the MLB Draft under his tutelage.
There are 28 different OSU players that were named All-American during his tenure.
3. Personal Awards
He has been named the National Coach of the Year in 2006, 2007, 2017 and 2018
In 2010, he and his wife, won the Nell and John Wooden Coaching Achievement Award. This award goes to the coach and his spouse for making a positive impact in players lives, and continued success on the field.
He was awarded Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 2005, 2006, and 2011 and Pac-12 Coach of the Year in 2013 and 2017.
His Last Season
One thing that is cool about his official retirement is that he knew when to step away. In this day and age, many players and coaches alike hang around too long and actually end up hurting their own legacy. I’m not mad at them, that’s just how competitors are wired.
But not him, he went out the right way, winning a National Championship in his final season in 2018. He was also named the National Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Collegiate Baseball this year.
After winning the title he chose to step down and wait it out a year and see if he wanted to return. After OSU’s season ended in 2019, he chose to officially resign and leave as Head Coach of the program. He is still involved with the Beavs’ as a Senior Associate Athletic Director where he will continue to mentor coaches.
OSU is lucky to still to have him on their team. His impact will be felt on the program even if he is no longer running the show.
There are unlikely heroes in this world, and he was one of them. He was a stand-up guy, and obviously a great leader. He probably was unheard of by many people outside of Pac-12 territory, or maybe even Corvallis. But he established himself as a legend, and legends never die.