|Organization:||Washington High School/Coe College (Iowa)|
The recipient of the 1995 ABCA/Wilson Lefty Gomez Award was ABCA Hall of Famer Harold "Pinky" Primrose.
After graduating from Iowa in 1956, Primrose began a long and successful coaching career at Norway (Iowa) High School. Under his leadership, Norway performed well during his six-year tenure, winning 165 games against 50 losses. There, Primrose also served as a teacher, head basketball coach, Athletic Director and, for two years, acting Principal.
In 1964, Primrose moved to Cedar Rapids to assume a teaching and coaching job at Washington High School. Between 1956 and 1987, his Washington High School teams won 712 games, against only 385 losses. Over those 33 years, Primrose's teams won the Iowa High School Baseball Championship (1966), were Mississippi Valley Conference champions (1969, '74, '80 and '85), and won numerous sectional and disctrict championships.
In 1962, the Midwest Professional Baseball League expanded by three teams, and the Cedar Rapids Braves were welcomed as the newest members. In 1964, Primrose was named to the Board of Directors and was team president from 1973-84. He was also an associate scout for the Baltimore Orioles (1965-66) and the Kansas City Royals (1990-2009).
In 1981 Primrose was named head baseball coach at NCAA Div. III Coe College, and remained there until 1988.
Primrose was named the ABCA National Coach of the Year, the Iowa State Coach of the Year and the ABCA District Coach of the Year in 1980. He has also received numerous coaching and officiating awards including the Tait Cummins Award for contributions to youth athletics, the Cedar Rapids Gazette recognition for outstanding coaching and several awards from the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association.
Primrose is a member of the ABCA Hall of Fame (1987), Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame (1974), the Cedar Rapids Washington High School Hall of Fame (1992) and the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Midwest League) Hall of Fame (2008).
After completing graduate work in 1966, Primrose was awarded a Master's degree in Education from Iowa, and was a long-time member of various local and state education associations. In 2001 he was presented the Outstanding Service Award from the National High School Federation.
While he coached and taught, Primrose focused his organizational and leadership skills on building a professional coaching organization in Iowa. In 1969 he founded the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association, and served as President until 1971. Until 2008 he filled the role of Executive Secretary and also directed their annual three-day clinic and four-day All-Star series.
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.