|Organization:||California State University-Los Angeles|
John Herbold, the recipient of the 2004 ABCA/Wilson Lefty Gomez Award, spent 21 seasons as head coach of the Cal State L.A. Golden Eagles (1984-2004). Herbold served as either a high school or college head baseball coach in the Los Angeles area for 49 years.
Herbold stands as the winningest head coach in Cal State L.A. baseball history with 455 victories in his 21 years, including 15 campaigns of at least 20 wins. He became CSULA's all-time leader with his 398th win back in 2002, surpassing the late Jim Reeder, for whom the Cal State L.A. baseball field is named.
Herbold's 1997 and 1998 Cal State L.A. teams were among the program's best, winning back-to-back CCAA Conference titles while compiling a combined mark of 41-23 in conference play. The 1998 squad also earned a berth into the NCAA Tournament, the first for the CSULA baseball program since the 1977 team finished fourth at the College World Series.
Named CCAA Coach of the Year in 1997 and 1998, Herbold was also inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame in 1998.
Herbold was named the eighth head baseball coach in Cal State L.A. history in 1983, after a very successful 28-year coaching career at the high school level. He got his start as a head coach at Long Beach Polytechnic High School in 1956, leading the Jackrabbits to their first CIF title in 1963. By the time he left Long Beach Poly in 1968, Herbold's teams had won outright or shared five Moore League championships. He moved to Lakewood High in 1969, leading the Lancers to 13 Moore League crowns in 15 years as well as CIF titles in both 1970 and 1974.
Overall, Herbold recorded a lifetime record as a head coach to 938-841-4 (.527) over a span of 1,783 games.
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.