(STILLWATER, Oklahoma / April 17, 2019) – Oklahoma State baseball coaching legend Gary Ward will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Thursday’s series opener against Texas at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium, and the first 500 fans at the game will also receive a Ward replica shirsey.
Ward was the driving force behind the planning, funding, design and construction of Allie P. Reynolds Stadium, which opened as the home of Cowboy Baseball in 1981 and is celebrating its 39th and final season in 2019, and he helped OSU establish itself as one of college baseball’s elite programs during the 1980s and 1990s.
In 19 seasons in Stillwater from 1978-1996, Ward compiled a record of 953-313-1 and led the Cowboys to 10 College World Series appearances and three NCAA runner-up finishes.
Under Ward’s direction, OSU won a record 16 consecutive Big Eight Conference titles from 1981-96, and the Cowboys made an NCAA record seven-straight College World Series appearances from 1981-87.
During the 1980s, Ward coached some of the top players in college baseball history, which included 10 All-Americans, and the Cowboys were the second-winningest D1 program during the decade with a .789 winning percentage as they compiled a 543-145-1 record.
Ward came to Stillwater after seven successful seasons at Yavapai Junior College in Prescott, Ariz., where he won national championships in 1975 and 1977 and recorded nearly 250 career wins.
Following his tenure at OSU, Ward also spent two seasons as head coach of his alma mater, New Mexico State, in 2001 and 2002, and he led the Aggies to an NCAA Regional in ’02.
Ward posted a career record of 1,022-361-1 in 21 seasons as a Division I head coach, with his .739 winning percentage ranking 11th on the NCAA’s all-time DI head coaching list.
Ward was enshrined in the Cowboy Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004 and is a member of the College Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2008, and his jersey number 20 is one of four retired by OSU Baseball.