Rod Dedeaux
Rod Dedeaux
Organization: University of Southern California
Year: 1980

One of the winningest in college baseball history, Rod Dedeaux was the recipient of the 1980 ABCA/Wilson Lefty Gomez Award.

In his 45-year tenure at USC (1942-86), Dedeaux led the Trojans to 11 College World Series crowns and 28 conference titles. He posted an overall collegiate record of 1,332-571-11 for a .699 winning percentage. He retired with more wins than any other college baseball coach.

Dedeaux's teams won five straight NCAA championships from 1970 to 1974. In 1999, he was named "Coach of the Century" by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. As part of the 50th anniversary of the College World Series in 1996, Dedeaux was named the head coach of the All-Time CWS team by a panel of former World Series coaches, media and college baseball officials. In 1999, he was presented with keys to the city of Omaha, home to the College World Series.

Dedeaux was named Coach of the Year six times by the ABCA. He also served as president of the ABCA in 1959, and on the ABCA Board of Directors. He was inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame in 1970.

In 1989, he was awarded the U.S. Baseball Federation's W.P. "Dutch" Fehring Award of Merit for outstanding service.

Dedeaux helped develop more than 200 pro players and 59 Major Leaguers.

Besides making a mark with the collegiate game, Dedeaux also spearheaded the development of amateur baseball nationally and internationally. He was instrumental in bringing baseball to the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles as a demonstration sport and coached the silver medal-winning U.S. team. He also coached the U.S. amateur team that played in Tokyo in conjunction with the 1964 Olympics.

Dedeaux founded the USA-Japan Collegiate World Series in 1972. He served as Series Chairman from 1972 to 1984 and then was Chairman Emeritus. Dedeaux also was honored in May of 1996 by the Japanese government with the Fourth Order of Merit Cordon of the Rising Sun award.

Hollywood enlisted Dedeaux's expertise as well, inviting him to serve as a technical director and consultant for two highly successful movies: "Field of Dreams" and "A League of Their Own."

Dedeaux was a charter member of the 1994 inaugural class of the USC Athletic Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the World Trade Hall of Fame in 1993, the Nicaraguan Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Baseball Reliquary Shrine of the Eternals in 2005.

USC's baseball field was named after him­ - Dedeaux Field - when it opened in 1974.

Named after the great Lefty Gomez, this annual award is presented to an individual who has distinguished himself among his peers and has contributed significantly to the game of baseball locally, nationally and internationally. The Lefty Gomez Award is sponsored by Wilson Sporting Goods.