Texas Tech Athletics mourns death of Kal Segrist

Texas Tech Athletics mourns death of Kal Segrist
Kal Segrist (source: Texas Tech University)
Kal Segrist (source: Texas Tech University)

Provided by: Texas Tech Athletics

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Kal Segrist, Texas Tech's second-longest tenured baseball coach in program history and a Hall of Honor member, passed away Friday night at the age of 84.

Segrist guided the Red Raiders for 16 seasons where he collected 317 victories from 1968-83 which at the time marked a school record for wins. His 317 wins remain second all-time in Texas Tech baseball history.

Segrist, a native of Dallas, Texas, remained an active supporter of Red Raider baseball until his passing as he attended numerous games since his retirement, including several during the 2014 season where Texas Tech advanced to its first ever College World Series.

"We lost a good friend today and a great Red Raider," Texas Tech head coach Tim Tadlock said. "We are going to miss Kal dearly. Please keep Kal's family and his wife Becky in your prayers at this time."

The Red Raiders finished with 20 or more wins nine times under Segrist, including a 32-win season in 1976. Texas Tech finished third in the Southwest Conference twice during his tenure.

His 1980 squad finished 28-23-1 overall to go along with a 14-10 mark in league play, marking the most conference wins by a Red Raider team during the first 31 years of baseball at Texas Tech.

Kal Segrist, seen here with fellow head coaches Gary Ashby, Larry Hays and Tim Tadlock, was the second-longest tenured skipper in school history. Regarded as one of the top offensive coaches in the country, Segrist was recognized as the SWC Coach of the Year on three occasions in 1969, 1980 and 1982. In addition to his success on the diamond, Segrist was also credited for spearheading the idea of having the SWC Postseason Tournament.

Segrist's No. 24 jersey was retired by Texas Tech on May 1, 2010, making him just the fourth individual and the second head coach to have their number retired in Texas Tech baseball history.

"I'm heartbroken at the news of Coach Segrist's passing," said Mike Gustafson, a former player under Segrist (1986-89) and current president and CEO of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. "He was as patient and supportive as an assistant coach could be during my time as a player but our best times came after my playing days just sitting in his living room talking baseball. I will forever miss him."

Segrist played college baseball at the University of Texas where he helped lead the Longhorns to the 1950 national championship. Segrist was named to the College World Series all-tournament team after leading the tourney in home runs. He was also named to the All-SWC team after leading the conference with a .442 average.

Following the national title run, Segrist signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees. He made his major league debut with the Yankees on July 16, 1952. He also played one season for the Baltimore Orioles in 1955.

Segrist returned to college soon after his retirement as he received his bachelor's degree from North Texas State in 1962 and became an assistant to Berl Huffman at Texas Tech in 1965. He took over head coaching duties three seasons later.

"I was blessed with the opportunity to play for and coach with Kal Segirst," said Gary Ashby, a former Texas Tech All-American who followed Segrist as the sixth head coach in school history. "His work is the foundation that Tech baseball is built on. He did more with less than any coach I know. Everyone that comes after Coach Segrist owes him a debt of gratitude for all the thankless hours he invested in the program."

Segrist is survived by his wife, Becky, and his four children -- Kris, Scott, Sunny Beth and Sandy. Funeral services are pending at this time.