CSUF baseball players, coaches, alumni and members of the CSUF athletic department commemorated the life of Augie Garrido, a former Titans baseball head coach on Nov. 9 in the Titan Gym.
Garrido’s family and friends took the stage and gave speeches about their experiences with the former head coach. Former players sat together and watched Garrido’s life and legacy unfold in a memoriam video that played on a projector screen.
Current CSUF baseball head coach Rick Vanderhook was one of the people to take the stage and reminisce about his time with Garrido.
“He is Cal State Fullerton athletics,” Vanderhook said. “He’ll never be forgotten. He’s going to be a legend in this school forever.”
Garrido coached the Titans for 22 seasons and led the team to three national championships. Completely turning the program around, he transformed the team from a Division II school to Division I.
Among the guests was Fullerton pitching coach Steve Rousey, who played under Garrido for three seasons (1982-84). An everlasting impression Garrido left on Rousey was his ability to time emotional and mental support.
“For me, Augie was almost like God at that point in time. I know he’s not God, but at that point in time, he was spectacularly smart. He was spectacularly tough. He was amazingly competitive. He timed everything out perfectly,” Rousey said.
One of the more impactful memories between Garrido and Rousey was a national championship in 1984.
Through charisma and words of encouragement, his coaching style and attention to detail is something that still greatly influences the baseball program as he served as Vanderhook’s mentor.
“(Vanderhook’s) coaching style pretty much nears what Augie did as far as being a stern coach and really telling you how it is but also being there to give you a hug at the end of the day,” former Titans pitcher Michael Lopez said. “He’s going to get on you a little bit, but at the end of the day, he’s going to teach you a life lesson and try to make you a better person.”
Junior outfielder Zach Weisz shared his experience meeting Garrido for the first time and said the players introduced themselves to Garrido and conversed with the former head coach when he joined the team during batting practice in Tulane last season.
This would be the final time Garrido met with the Titans.
One week later, while the team was in Oregon State, the Titans learned of Garrido’s passing.
“We went out there and just absolutely dominated. We played one of the best games we had ever played in our life against Oregon State. No. 1 team in the country and we beat them,” Weisz said. “He didn’t even have to be there, his overall legacy just led us to get it done.”
Garrido left a lasting impact on the players he coached.
“Coming from Lynwood, I really didn’t know how much of an impact coach Garrido was going to have on me. Once I got here, he taught us so much that I know I made the greatest choice of my life coming to Cal State Fullerton because of him,” said Tony Miranda, who played for the Titans from 1994 to 1995.
The Titan baseball program is currently revamping its facilities and will include an Augie Garrido statue behind the left field foul pole. Former players and coaches between the 1973 to 1995 seasons are coming together to make the statue happen. The figure is meant to be a gift in the memory of Garrido and is expected to be complete by the 2021 season.