Arkansas coach DeBriyn announces retirement

Tuesday, June 11th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ Arkansas baseball coach Norm DeBriyn announced his retirement Tuesday, ending more than three decades leading the Razorbacks.

``Norm is a consummate coach, friend and associate,'' athletic director Frank Broyles said. ``Every athletic director would like to have a coach that possesses these qualities.''

DeBriyn was the longest-tenured baseball coach in the Southeastern Conference and is the winningest coach in University of Arkansas history.

``I wasn't looking forward to it (retirement),'' DeBriyn said, but added jokingly ``and I can't wait to get out of here.''

Both DeBriyn, 60, and Broyles became emotional at times during an afternoon news conference, and Broyles said he wanted DeBriyn to stay on as an athletic department fund-raiser. Asked what qualities he wanted in a replacement, Broyles responded: ``Another Norm DeBriyn.''

DeBriyn leaves after a season in which his team finished one victory shy of reaching the NCAA College World Series, losing at Clemson in a super regional. He has had four College World Series appearances, 14 NCAA tournament berths, seven conference coach-of-the-year awards and more than 1,100 career wins in 33 seasons at Arkansas.

The Wisconsin native came to the university in the fall of 1969. He is a member of the Arkansas Hall of Fame and Razorback Hall of Honor.

DeBriyn and the Razorbacks gained national attention in 1979 when the team advanced to its first NCAA College World Series. He was an athletic standout at DePadua High School in Ashland, Wis., and played at Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he earned his degree.