John Winkin
John Winkin
Organization: University of Maine
Year: 1986

John Winkin, who served as Chairman of the ABCA Board of Directors from 1983-86, was the recipient of the 1986 ABCA/Lefty Gomez Award. He finished his career with a record of 1,043-706-16 (.591) having coached at Colby College, Maine and Husson University.

A member of 11 Halls of Fame including the ABCA Hall of Fame (1979), Winkin began his coaching career in 1954 at Colby College where he spent 20 years and was named the 1965 National Coach of the Year. There, he compiled a record of 301-202-5.

Winkin then moved on to the University of Maine in 1975, where his teams went 642-430-3 over 22 seasons and made six trips to the College World Series to go with 11 NCAA regional appearances.

Twice the Black Bears finished third in the CWS under Winkin, who also was named New England Division I Coach of the Year in 1975 and Northeast Region Division I Coach of the Year six times while at UMaine. His Black Bear teams were known for playing extremely tough regular-season schedules and posting wins against some of the nation's powerhouse teams.

In 1996, Winkin was hired for a fellowship in sports leadership position at Husson University. He was also named an assistant baseball coach before taking over as the head coach in 2003.

In addition to his coaching career, Winkin was also a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy during World War II, was a founding editor of Sport Magazine and hosted the first Major League Baseball pre-game show with Mel Allen and Curt Gowdy. He also wrote four books, including co-writing the Baseball Coaching Bible and Maximizing Baseball Practice Indoors.

Winkin, who served as president of the ABCA in 1973, was the athletic director at Colby College and served on a number of NCAA baseball committees, as well as being appointed to run several NCAA Division I regionals after he left Maine. He served on the ABCA Board of Directors and several other ABCA committees.

Named after the great Lefty Gomez, this annual award is presented to an individual who has distinguished himself among his peers and has contributed significantly to the game of baseball locally, nationally and internationally. The Lefty Gomez Award is sponsored by Wilson Sporting Goods.