July 12, 2014 at 7:54 am

Legendary EMU baseball coach Ron Oestrike dies at age 82

Ron Oestrike led EMU to a runner-up finish in the 1976 College World Series. (Eastern Michigan University)

Legendary Eastern Michigan baseball coach Ron Oestrike passed away on Friday at the age of 82, the university said.

"We lost a true Eastern Michigan legend today," EMU athletic director Heather Lyke said. "Coach Oestrike represented all the good in athletics -- honesty, integrity, and a deep caring for the student-athletes.Ē

Oestrike was EMUís head coach for 23 years, from 1965-87, leading the then-Hurons to the NAIA national championship in 1970. EMU then finished fifth in the 1975 NCAA College World Series and second in the 1976 College World Series.

Oestrike, who graduated from EMU in 1954, led the school to four Mid-American Conference championships and an overall record of 657-508-8.

Oestrike, nicknamed "Oak," coached six All-Americans at EMU and 22 All-MAC first-team players. Bryan Clutterbuck, Glenn Gulliver, Chris Hoiles, John Martin, Bob Owchinko, Ron Rightnowar, Pat Sheridan, Bob Welch and Mickey Weston went on to play major league baseball following their EMU careers under Oestrike.

He was named NCAA Regional Coach of the Year in 1975, '76, '78, '81 and MAC Coach of the Year in 1975, '76, '78, '82. He was named NCAA National Coach of the Year in 1976 by the Sporting News.

Oestrike is survived by five children and five grandchildren. His wife, the former Shirley Whyde, passed away in 2009.

There will be visitations Tuesday, July 15, from 2-4 p.m. and from 6-8 p.m., and on Wednesday morning, July 16, from 10-11 a.m. All visitations will take place at Ypsilanti First United Methodist Church. A memorial service will take place on Wednesday, July 16, at 11 a.m., also at the church.