PROVO, Utah - Brigham Young University's Athletic Department announced today Gary Pullins, head baseball coach, will become an assistant athletic director and direct the school's Varsity Club, an organization for BYU's former varsity athletes.
As an assistant athletic director, Pullins will administer the Varsity Club and handle games management responsibilities for BYU's men's Olympics sports and assist with other projects. His new assignment will require Pullins to step down as the Cougars' head baseball coach.
"Leaving the coaching profession will be a different experience for me. I've known other coaches who have made the transition smoothly, and I am confident I have the tools to be a good administrator. I am excited to work with the many outstanding former BYU athletes," said Pullins.
In his 23 seasons at the helm of Cougar baseball, Pullins compiled a 913-462-6 (.663) record, ranking 16th among active NCAA Division I baseball coaches. He won seven Western Athletic Conference titles and 15 division crowns. His teams reached the NCAA tournament nine times with a 7-18 record in post-season play. In 1983 his team was ranked No. 1 in the nation entering the NCAA tournament.
"For the past 23 years coach Gary Pullins' name has been synonymus with baseball at BYU," said Athletic Director Rondo Fehlberg. "He's coached many great teams and a number of major league stars, but his greatest legacy may be his passion for the game."
Among the players he's coached, 16 have been All-Americans and many have gone on to the professional ranks, including Wally Joyner, Rick Aguilera, Cory Snyder, Vance Law and Scott Nielsen.
"We are confident that in Coach Pullins' new capacity we will continue to benefit from his love of baseball and of BYU for many years to come. Those who know Gary are aware that he has many unique talents which will serve him well in this new position," added Fehlberg.
"By hitting in a different position in the batting order, I look forward to contributing to the success of our athletic program in general and our baseball team specifically. I'll still have an opportunity to be in the lineup. Suffice it to say that I'm excited to hand the ball to my successor," commented Pullins.
Coach Pullins recently completed a term as president of the American Baseball Coaches Association, which boasts more than 5,000 members. He is active in Kiwanis and other civic and church activities.
The 55-year-old Pullins played on BYU's 1968 College World Series team for former Cougar coach and athletic director Glen Tuckett. Pullins spent five years in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization as a player and coach, was an athletic director at Utah Technical College, now UVSC, and an assistant coach at Arizona State in 1976 before being selected as BYU's seventh baseball head coach.
A search for Pullins' replacement will begin immediately. In the interim, Coach Pullins and pitching coach Bob Noel will retain their current responsibilities until a new coaching staff is in place.