Lewis Will Retire Number of All-Time Winningest Coach O'Reilly

Legendary baseball coach "Irish" O'Reilly coached the Flyers for 29 years. His number will be retired May 3.

Henry "Irish" O'Reilly retired from a nearly three-decade career at Lewis in 2007. Credit: Lewis University
Henry "Irish" O'Reilly retired from a nearly three-decade career at Lewis in 2007. Credit: Lewis University
Editor's note: This event was originally scheduled for Saturday, March 29, but has been rescheduled to May 3 due to inclement weather.

Lewis University will pay tribute to legendary baseball coach Henry "Irish" O'Reilly, retiring O'Reilly's No. 14 in a ceremony at the university's Brennan Field on Saturday, May 3.

O'Reilly wore the number for 29 years as he became the Romeoville university's all-time winningest coach. 

O'Reilly, the 11th all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division II history, amassed a 982-771-8 (.560) record at the helm of the Lewis baseball program, according to Lewis. In addition, his 1980 team's 61 victories established the school's single-season record. All told, his teams won at least 30 games 19 times in 29 seasons.

He collected eight conference titles, 14 NAIA/NCAA postseason appearances, including five top-five finishes. O'Reilly's 1980 squad finished second in the NAIA National Tournament, and his 1988, 1990 and 1994 teams placed third in the NCAA Tournament.

O'Reilly, who retired in 2007 at age 63, was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame in 2008 and also had 41 players that went on to play professionally.

If he had his way, the 69-year-old O'Reilly said he'd allow other players at coaches at Lewis to continue to wear the number, according to the Southtown Star. O'Reilly said he wore No. 14 from the time he was 8 years old until he retired from Lewis nearly seven years ago.

A ceremony is set for 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 3.


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