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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Aug. 29, 2014) – The ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics learned Friday morning that former Buccaneer baseball head coach Charley Lodes passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 27.
Lodes, who coached ETSU from 1978-83, led the Buccaneers to three NCAA Regional appearances and three conference titles (two Southern Conference and one Ohio Valley Conference). The Blue and Gold made their first-ever trip to the NCAA Regional in Lodes first season in 1978, while also making trips in 1980 and 1981. The 1980 club was ranked 22nd nationally, while the 1981 team ranked 17th and was one win away from advancing to the Super Regional after beating Clemson (2-1) and Wichita State (5-4).
Lodes went 193-101 in his six seasons at ETSU, while the 44 wins in 1981 are the most in program history. Twelve Buccaneer players went on to be drafted during Lodes tenure, including first round pick Atlee Hammaker in 1979.
"I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Coach Lodes,” said ETSU baseball head coach Tony Skole. “It’s a sad day for all those associated with ETSU Baseball. I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet Coach Lodes early in my career at ETSU. It was very evident then to see how special a man he was. The one thing I admired most about him was the love and gratitude that all his former players had for him. That was really special for me to see as a young coach. He will be missed, but his impact he had on his players and ETSU baseball will live on forever."
The ETSU baseball team will honor Coach Lodes this season, but details will be released at a later date.
Lodes was 72 years old.
The funeral service will be held at Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Bethany, Okla., on Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 10:30 a.m.
For more information on Buccaneer baseball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball page.