Robert Wren
Robert Wren
Organization: Ohio University
Year: 1978 Inductee

Robert Wren retired as Ohio University's head baseball coach in 1972 after an historic tenure that elevated the stature of the program to a national level. He stands as the Bobcats' all-time winningest coach with a 464-160-4 (.724) record.

Wren was named head coach at his alma mater in 1949 following six years of professional baseball in the St. Louis Browns organization, replacing his former coach and another Ohio legend, Don Peden. He coached for 24 years, winning 11 Mid-American Conference titles and never turning in a losing season.

In the days when teams played only 20 to 30 games in a season, Wren saw his teams lose less than 10 games 20 times, including 13 straight from 1956-68.

His 1970 team was one of the best in school history. Ohio went 33-6, outscored its opponents 312-134 and advanced to the NCAA College World Series after winning the District IV playoffs. In Omaha, the Bobcats upset top-ranked Southern California 4-1, but then lost to Texas 7-2. The Bobcats fought back to defeat Iowa State 9-6, but were then eliminated with a 2-0 loss to Florida State. Three Bobcats from that team achieved All-America status, while 11 signed professional contracts following their collegiate careers.

Wren's 1971 team won its fourth consecutive MAC title, finishing 30-7 to earn the best winning percentage over a two-year span in school history.

In all, 56 of his players signed professional contracts and 11 went on to play in the major leagues. Those 11 include Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt, Terry Harmon, Steve Swisher, Rich McKinney, Tom Murphy, John Morlan, Jim French, Lamar Jacobs, Dick Murphy, Joe Nossek and Dave Wickersham. He also coached the two men who followed in his footsteps as head baseball coach, Jerry France and Joe Carbone.

Wren has received several honors from the university since his graduation. He was inducted into the school's Athletics Hall of Fame in 1967 for his successes as a student-athlete. In 1997, Bob Wren Stadium was dedicated as the new home of the Bobcats and a statue of Wren was erected on the grounds by his former players.