C.W. Post baseball coach Dick Vining will be inducted the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) 2012 Hall of Fame Class, alongside five other coaches.
Gina Bigelow,Associate Director of Public Relations
C.W. Post Campus,
Long Island University
Brookville, N.Y. -- "I'm very proud to be honored by the ABCA," said Vining. "To me, being voted into the Hall of Fame represents an appreciation and recognition of all the people who have been dedicated to baseball."
Vining, who is the dean of New York Metropolitan collegiate baseball coaches, recently completed his 33rd season with the Pioneers. The long-time head coach is in his fifth-year with the men’s baseball team. The 2011 season marked his 58th at the collegiate level (52 years as Head Coach and six years as an assistant). Next year also will be the legendary coach's last season, as he recently announced his retirement.
"This honor coming at this stage in my life represents the culmination of my coaching career. It comes at a perfect time, during my last year of coaching as my career is winding down," said Vining. "I don't think anybody really retires from baseball, I call it more of a physical withdrawal. I have the same passion love and emotion for the game, but as you get older you can't do a lot of physical things you once could. But I'll never retire from the game. I'll always have that passion and love for baseball."
He was head coach of the Pioneers program for 28 seasons, and compiled a 574-503-13 record in 28 years at the helm (815-686-17 record in 51 seasons overall). C.W. Post enjoyed a total of 15 winning seasons under Vining's tutelage while reaching the NCAA Division II Tournament four times before moving up to Division I in 1986. After moving to Division I, Vining's teams showed no signs of slowing down, capturing the Diamond Conference Championship in five of their last seven seasons in the conference, including a run of four consecutive conference championships in the early 1990's. Vining earned five Coach of the Year awards in recognition of his teams successes.
His lifetime record of 825-657-14 is testament to his long association with the sport, cementing his legacy as the first collegiate baseball coach in New York State to reach the 700-win plateau. In 2004, he reached a milestone by coaching his 1,500th college game.
A relationship of more than three decades with Long Island University began when Vining became the head coach at the school's Brooklyn Campus. In nine seasons, he amassed a record of 158-82-2, with the 1968 squad reaching the number-one ranking in the nation for college division teams. He was named Coach of the Year that season.
After three seasons with the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in the mid-1970's, Vining renewed his LIU roots by taking over as head coach at C.W. Post in 1978.
A former associate professor of health science and physical education at C.W. Post for 17 seasons, Vining served as president of the Metropolitan Collegiate Baseball Conference from 1983-84. He was a member of the NCAA Division II selection and all-star committees, and made enormous contributions to the international game, as helped spread the game of baseball overseas by becoming the first U.S. coach to take a collegiate team to the People's Republic of China in 1985. One year later, he took his team to compete in Holland, followed by a 1987 tour of what was then Czechoslovakia.
Vining holds a bachelor's degree in physical education from the University of Connecticut and a master's in education from Springfield College. He and his wife, Virginia, reside in Douglaston, N.Y.
Vining and the ABCA Hall of Fame Class of 2012 will be honored at the 2012 Hall of Fame/Coach of the Year Banquet at the on Friday, January 6 in Anaheim, Calif.
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