May 11, 2011

Thoren, Longtime Baseball Coach, Dies at 89

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After a lengthy battle with illness, longtime Cornell baseball head coach Ted Thoren died on Tuesday morning at the age of 89.

The man who led the Red for nearly 29 years was inducted into seven halls of fame, including the Cornell Athletics Hall of Fame in 1992, two years after his retirement. In his time at the helm of the baseball program, Thoren led the Red to a 541-520-11 record, making the skipper the winningest coach in any Cornell program upon his retirement. That record stood until last week when softball head coach Dick Blood surpassed Thoren on the all-time list.

Bill Walkenbach ’98, the man whose title bears Thoren’s name, called the late coach “the father of Cornell baseball.”

“The influence that he has had on all of the players who have … come through our program is what has allowed it to survive to this day,” he said in a statement.

Thoren, who began his tenure at the helm of the baseball program in 1962, officially started his Cornell coaching career in 1954 as an assistant to the varsity and junior varsity football teams. After splitting time between football and baseball as an assistant in the latter half of the 1950s, Thoren was named the 13th head coach in the history of Cornell baseball at the start of the 1962 season.

“Ted’s passing represents a profound loss to the Cornell community and to Cornell Athletics in particular,” said Athletics Director Andy Noel, in a statement. “On behalf of the entire department, we extend Ted’s family our heartfelt condolences as we celebrate his legacy.”

A University press release noted that plans for a memorial service have not yet been finalized.

Original Author: Sun Staff