The winningest coach in college baseball history, Gordie Gillespie of the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Ill., has been awarded a Distinguished Service Award (DSA) by the United States Sports Academy.
Gillespie, who turns 84 in April 2010, will begin his 58th season of coaching baseball next year. He has compiled a career record of 1,816 wins and 922 losses. More than half of his victories have come at St. Francis, where he coached from 1977 through 1995 and again from 2006 until the present.
Gillespie has been inducted into 16 halls of fame, including the College Baseball Hall of Fame this past summer, and is a four-time National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) coach of the year. Gillespie’s 1993 team won the first national championship in St. Francis school history, regardless of sport.
The DSA is given annually to those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to national or international sports through instruction, research or service. The DSA is separate from the Academy’s Awards of Sport and each recipient also receives the coveted Order of the Eagle Exemplar for their achievements.
Each nominee must possess an extensive background in sports. This means that the individual must have had significant dealings in either instruction, research or service in sports for more than 10 years.