2-time Texas national champion coach Gustafson dead at 91
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Former Texas baseball coach Cliff Gustafson, who led the Longhorns to two national championships and nearly two dozen conference titles in 29 seasons, died Monday at age 91, the school announced.
Gustafson played on the Longhorns team that made it to the 1952 College World Series. He returned as head coach in 1968 and stayed until 1996. He finished with a career record of 1,466-377.
Gustafson led the Longhorns to national championships in 1975 and 1983, and 22 Southwest Conference championships. His Texas teams played in the College World Series 17 times.
His .792 career winning percentage ranks second among major college coaches. His 1,466 career wins ranked first when he retired and now rank 10th.
Before taking the job at Texas, Gustafson won six Texas state high school championships. He said he took a $500 pay cut from his high school position when then-Texas football coach and athletic director Darrell Royal offered him the Longhorns job.
“The historic run he had in building on the great legacy of our baseball program will never be forgotten, and the stature he took it to continues to this day,” said Tommy Harmon, a former Texas all-American catcher and longtime assistant under Gustafson.
“He was a man who just loved baseball, loved his players and every year gave his teams everything he had,” Harmon said.
The Texas announcement of Gustafson’s passing did not include a cause of death.
Harmon was inducted into the Texas Athletics Hall of Honor ins 1983 and is a member of the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
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