|Organization:||University of Hawaii|
Les Murakami coached the University of Hawaii baseball team for 30 years (1971-2000), taking the program from obscurity to the College World Series. Murakami amassed 1,079 wins while taking the team to 10 NCAA regionals and one World Series in 1980, when the Rainbows were just one win short of a national title. His Rainbows also fared well in conference play, winning six WAC titles.
But Murakami meant a lot more than just the wins and losses. He was also the man responsible for erecting the baseball stadium that now bears his name. Murakami was a two-time WAC Coach of the Year, NCAA District Coach of the Year in 1986 and won the Lefty Gomez Award in 1981. The legendary coach sent 74 players to professional baseball, while 10 were able to make it to the Major Leagues.
Murakami was named Hawaii Sportsman of the Year in 1977 and 1980, and in January of 2001, he was inducted into the Hawaii Circle of Honor.