SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — After 20 seasons leading Texas State baseball, head coach Ty Harrington announced on Thursday that he is retiring.
“This has been an incredible 20 year journey filled with inspiring players and people, great teams, memorable wins, a University that is a rising star, loyal fans and in incredible community.” Harrington said. “
He leaves as the Bobcats’ all-time wins leader, amassing a 657 wins against 516 losses and two ties. Texas State made three NCAA Tournament appearances and won four conference regular season titles, including this year when the Bobcats entered the Sun Belt Conference tournament as the top seed.
“I chaired the search committee when Ty was hired 20 years ago,” Texas State athletics director Larry Teis. “Ty mentioned to me six weeks ago that he has been a head coach all his life and wanted to try something new. I tried to talk him out of retirement then and did so up until the end.”
Texas State was a perrenial winner under Harrington, only suffering three losing seasons in his 20-year tenure in San Marcos.
The Bobcats constantly challenged the best teams in Texas and the country. Just this past season, Texas State beat UT, 7-6, in San Marcos. Harrington also saw his team register wins over No. 12 Texas A&M in College Station and series sweep of Rice.
His success in recent years is made all the more impressive given the fact that he is just under four years removed from a cancer diagnosis. Before the start of the 2015 season, Harrington announced that he had Stage 3 cancer.
Following a colonoscopy around his 50th birthday, doctors found a tumor the size of a quarter. The initial diagnosis was changed from colon cancer to rectal cancer. Despite trying to coach through the cancer treatments, Harrington had to take a leave of absence during the 2015 season. The Bobcats suffered in his absence going 24-32-1, their worst season in his 20 years.
They bounced back in his return, going 31-28 in 2016, his first year back full time. They suffered a minor dip in 2017, with a 29-30 record, but Harrington finished strong in his last two years. He lead Texas State to a second place finish in the West Divison of the Sun Belt, and won the regular season crown in what turned out to be his final season. The obcats were a dark horse to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, but just missed out after an 0-2 performance at the conference tournament.
Harrington’s coaching prowess shined greatest during a three-year stretch from 2009-2011 when Texas State won three straight regular season conference titles and earned two berths in the NCAA Tournament.
His coaching career started at his alma mater, the University of Texas, as a student coach and later grad assistant from 1988-1991. From there, he became a full-time assistant at Arkansas State before he got his first head coaching job at Northeast Texas Community College. In 1996, his second year in Mount Pleasant, he led the Eagles to the NJCAA and won Coach of the Year honors.
He spent one year at Blinn Junior College before arriving in San Marcos.
While in college, Harrington was a two-year letterman as an infielder with the Longhorns under Clif Gustafson. He was a part of three College World Series teams and was a team captain in 1987.