Fresno State baseball will honor legendary head coach Bob Bennett Saturday with a pre-game dedication prior to its game against San Diego State.
Back on May 8, the university approved renaming the baseball stadium from Pete Beiden Field to Pete Beiden Field at Bob Bennett Stadium, and on Saturday, new signage will be unveiled to make it official.
“This is a great honor, and I really appreciate this,” Bennett said in a statement. “It is also a great honor for my players. I wish their names could be on the stadium too. I am really pleased with the way [Fresno State athletic director] Jim Bartko handled all of this. Fresno State baseball has been a big part of my life, as a player and a coach, and this university has done so much for me, my family and all my players.”
Bennett served as the Bulldogs’ head coach in 1967 but later returned in 1970 and coached up until 2002. During his 34-year tenure, Bennett became the winningest coach in Fresno State baseball history with 1.304 victories. He is one of 20 Division I head coaches with 1,300 or more career wins.
“Bob Bennett has made many extraordinary contributions to Fresno State baseball,” Fresno State President Dr. Joseph I. Castro said in a statement. “He is a true Bulldog – someone who boldly dedicated his life to this university. We are pleased to show our appreciation for his years of service to Fresno State and the entire San Joaquin Valley through the naming of Bob Bennett Stadium.”
During his time at the helm of the program, Bennett posted 26 consecutive winning seasons, took the ‘Dogs to two College World Series (1988, 1991), advanced to 21 NCAA Regionals and won 17 conference titles.
“Fresno State is truly an amazing place created by Pete Beiden and Bob Bennett,” said current head baseball coach Mike Batesole. “Their legacy will be forever remembered, and the loyalty of their former players is at the heart of what we do each day. Pete Beiden Field at Bob Bennett Stadium has a special ring to it. I love it.”