Oregon State baseball coach Pat Casey, who led the Beavers to three national championships, has announced his retirement after 24 seasons with the team.
Casey’s most recent College World Series title came this summer, following back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007. Since 2005, the Beavers have made the NCAA tournament field 12 times and they’ve advanced to Omaha six times. The team also won five conference championships under Casey.
“My problem is, what I expect from my players on the field I expect out of myself,” Casey said during an emotional news conference in Corvallis on Thursday. “Right now I’m not positive that I can give that same effort that I expect of them, I’m not sure I can. But I will never put the uniform on unless I do it with that same passion I expect of them.”
Casey was hired by the Beavers in 1995 after a stint at Division III George Fox. He compiled a 900-458-6 (.662) record at Oregon State.
“I’ve been doing this for 31 years. I wish I was one of those guys who could tell you I wouldn’t change a thing because I’m not one of those guys,” Casey said. “I wish I was as good a coach day one as I was the last day, I wish I would have made every player better, I wish I would have been a guy that didn’t make any mistakes. That doesn’t happen in coaching.”
The Beavers went 55-12-1 this season. The team swept through the regional and super regional rounds before losing their CWS opener. They won four straight elimination games to reach a best-of-three final against Arkansas.
Rumors had swirled this summer after the championship run that the 59-year-old native of Oregon might retire.
Casey will remain at Oregon State as a senior associate athletic director and special assistant to athletic director Scott Barnes.
“I have no oceans to sail, I have no mountains to climb, I have no hobbies, I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do,” Casey joked.
Oregon State associate head coach Pat Bailey will serve as interim coach of the Beavers. The team will conduct a national search for a replacement following the next season.
Barnes said the new right field deck at Goss Stadium on campus would be named “Casey’s Corner.”
“As you can tell by his opening comments, this is a guy who worries about what other people need, what other people expect, whether he’s letting people down or not letting them down,” Oregon State President Ed Ray said. “He has just been everything that we ever could have imagined in a baseball coach here.”
The winningest coach in Oregon State history, Casey won league coach of the year five times and was Baseball America’s national Coach of the Year in 2006.
Many of Casey’s players went on to major league careers, notably Tigers pitcher Matt Boyd, Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and Mets outfielder Michael Conforto.
Oregon State’s program came under a cloud in 2017 when it was revealed that pitcher Luke Heimlich had pleaded guilty at 15 to molesting a 6-year-old relative. The plea was revisited this spring in profiles by Sports Illustrated and the New York Times, with Heimlich telling both publications that he pleaded guilty to spare his family the ordeal of a trial.
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