Bob Bennett, Fresno State Hall of Fame Baseball Coach, Dies at Age 86

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 23:  A fan holds up a sign for the Fresno State Bulldogs during Game 1 of the 2008 Men's College World Series Championship of the Georgia Bulldogs on June 23, 2008 at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Former Fresno State baseball coach Bob Bennett died Sunday.

He was 86.

“Bob Bennett’s transformative impact on Fresno State and Bulldog Baseball will be felt for generations to come. His memory will always live on inside Bob Bennett Stadium. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bennett family,” Fresno State director of athletics Terry Tumey said in a statement.

Bennett served as Fresno State’s head coach for 34 years, posting only two losing seasons and retiring with a 1,302-759-4 record. He finished his career with 26 consecutive winning seasons, reaching the NCAA tournament 21 times and the College World Series twice.

“What a gift to our Valley that a man of such personal and professional excellence would spend his entire life making our community better,” Paul Loeffler, an announcer for the team, said. “Coach Bennett is a legend in college baseball, and I have never met anyone who loved the game more. He never stopped giving or teaching. The legacy his amazing family and the men who played for him represent will be a credit to Fresno State and the Valley forever.”

Bennett was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010. Fresno State honored him by making his No. 26 the first retired number in school history and renamed its home stadium after Bennett in 2016.