ISU baseball coach announces retirement after 31 years with Sycamores

May 26 2006

Indiana State University head baseball coach Bob Warn announced his retirement today (May 26) after 31 years at the helm of the Sycamores.

Warn finishes his career at ISU with an overall record of 1,070-745-9 (.587), which ranks in the top 10 among active NCAA Division I baseball coaches for total victories and among the top 30 all-time among Division I coaches. The Sycamores posted a winning record in 25 of his 31 seasons at ISU and finished with at least 40 wins on nine different occasions.

"I've always said that when I reached a time in my life when my job wasn't as satisfying as needed, I would do something else," Warn said. "I believe it is time. I trust our season outcome had a strong effect on me. But I think my time is here to do something else. I want to thank my wife, Bonnie, for 31 years of support at ISU, especially this past year - when I couldn't have been easy to live with."

"It's important to know that this is and has been for 31 years, our school. Though we never attended here, we have invested our time, personal funds and a dedicated work ethic. Our three sons have earned degrees here and have great jobs as a result. I want to say that I am extremely proud of my efforts and accomplishments, but it is not about one person. It's about the school, its students, those who work here and those who support the institution. We owe so much to so many, including those in the community who knew of our many needs. It has been a tough job for 31 years, but those who truly know us know that our approach was to always believe the glass was 'half full.'

"In 1975, there were those that believed in us, and to them and to those that still do, we say thanks. It has been a great ride."

Warn, a three-time Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year (1979, 1983, 1984), was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2003. He is a member of the Indiana Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame (1990) and the Iowa Western College Hall of Fame (2000).

Warn produced 126 All-MVC performers and 97 MVC All-Academic selections. Since taking over the program, he has seen over 90 Sycamores advance to the professional ranks, including 21 who have played in the major leagues. Under Warn's tutelage, 11 Sycamores have been named All-America, while 30 have earned all-region honors.

He posted a 54-40 record in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament as the Sycamores captured six tournament championships (1979, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1995) and produced 72 All-MVC Tournament selections, including four MVC Tournament MVP's. ISU earned NCAA post-season berths in 1979, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989, and 1995.

Indiana State's 1985 team posted a school-record 57 wins as the Sycamores finished 57-22 and completed the MVC slate with a 15-5 mark. ISU finished 48-21 in 1986 as the Trees captured the MVC Tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Mideast Regional where they downed Michigan and Central Michigan to earn a berth in the College World Series. The entire 1986 team was inducted into the Indiana State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002.

The 1979 Sycamore team won the Dutch Baseball Federal Championship under Warn's direction. In 1997, he served as president of the American Baseball Coaches' Association and is a current member of that organization's Board of Directors. Warn also is currently on the ABCA's Legislative Issues committee. This past winter, he was on a committee that penned the official Code of Ethics for Amateur Baseball.

"Coach Warn is committed to his family, his faith, and for the past 31 seasons, has been totally committed to and passionate about his job as ISU head baseball coach. He has been a tremendous influence on many young men that have gone through our Indiana State University Baseball program and has always emphasized academic excellence along with athletic achievement," said Ron Prettyman, ISU athletic director.

"Coach Warn will continue his coaching duties through June 30, 2006. After that time he has agreed to support and be involved in events and activities that the athletics department and the baseball program undertakes in the future. We all wish Coach Warn and his family well as he enters this new chapter in his life. A national search for the next head baseball coach will commence immediately as we prepare for the 2006-07 school year," Prettyman said.

Prior to joining the Sycamores, Warn spent three years as head coach at Iowa Western Community College where he tallied a record of 104-38, giving him a career record of 1,174-783-9 through 34 years as a head coach.

He began his coaching career as a player-coach during two years with the U.S. Army at Ft. Polk, La. ollowing his collegiate career at Southern Illinois. After leaving Ft. Polk, Warn served as a graduate assistant at estern Illinois before moving on to Iowa Western.

"Coach Warn's distinguished career has put Indiana State in the spotlight numerous times," Indiana State University President Lloyd W. Benjamin III said. "His 31 seasons at ISU are a testament to his coaching skills as well as his loyalty and dedication to the Sycamores. I would like to congratulate Bob, and wish him, Bonnie and their family all the best."

All three of Warns sons, Brian, Brad, and Barry, played for him at Indiana State. Brian was a four-year starter at second base from 1993-97, while Brad played the Trees from 1994-98, and Barry concluded his four-year career in 2003.


Contact and writer: Ace Hunt, assistant director, athletics media relations, Indiana State University, (812)243-5568 or

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Story Highlights

Bob Warn announced his retirement as ISU baseball coach. Warn finished the season in the top 10 among activie NCAA Division I coaches. The Sycamores posted a winning record in 25 of his 31 seasons at ISU.

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