Jerry Kindall
Jerry Kindall
Organization: University of Arizona
Year: 1999

The recipient of the 1999 ABCA/Wilson Lefty Gomez Award, Jerry Kindall was the first person to ever win a College World Series title as both a player and a head coach.

Kindall, who was a member of Minnesota's 1956 College World Series team that defeated Arizona for the national championship, spent 24 years as the head coach at the University of Arizona. He guided the Wildcats to three national championships in baseball, including UA's first-ever team championship in any sport in 1976, and he holds the all-time wins record with an 860-579-7 coaching mark in Tucson.

Kindall served as the President of the ABCA in 1993, and also served on the Board of Directors, Ethics in Coaching Committee and as Chair Emeritus of the Lefty Gomez Award Committee. He was inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame in 1991.

A three-time ABCA/Diamond National Coach of the Year, Kindall won three Pac-10 titles and a WAC pennant at Arizona. His teams advanced to the NCAA postseason 12 times during his tenure at UA and played in five College World Series in Omaha. At the CWS, he won three national championships over a 10-year span, taking home titles in 1976, 1980 and 1986.

His players garnered 34 first team All-America honors during his time at UA and a total of 71 were feted with All-Conference recognition. A total of 209 players under Kindall signed professional baseball contracts, including 32 who went on to play in the Major Leagues.

Kindall coached three College World Series MVPs, four Pac-10 South Players of the Year and he guided current Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona to the 1980 Golden Spikes Award, which is presented to the nation's top collegiate baseball player.

Kindall, who graduated from Minnesota, was drafted by the Chicago Cubs and spent eight seasons in the Major Leagues with the Cubs, the Cleveland Indians and the Minnesota Twins.

Kindall was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007, the Arizona Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996 and the University of Minnesota Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995. In January of 2004 Arizona renamed its baseball facility Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes honored Kindall by naming its Character in Coaching Award after him.

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.