LEWISTON, Idaho - Ed Cheff, the NAIA's all-time leader in victories and a former Lower Columbia College coaching legend, has retired from baseball after 34 years at Lewis-Clark State College.
Cheff led the Warriors to 16 NAIA World Series titles and compiled a 1,705-430-2 record (.799 winning percentage) since arriving in Lewiston from LCC in 1977.
Gary Picone, the school's athletic director, will replace Cheff.
"Ed Cheff's accomplishments at LCSC are unmatched in college baseball," Picone told the Lewiston Tribune. "His career victory total, combined with 16 national titles, put him in a league of his own. Those of us who had the opportunity to work directly with Ed know that he positively influenced hundreds of student-athletes and had immeasurable impact on the college and the community."
Cheff was raised in Woodland and made an impact during his brief stint at LCC, where he was 120-24 from 1973 to '76, winning the Coastal Division title four times. In addition, the Red Devils placed second once and third twice in postseason tournaments under him.
From 1982 to '92, LCSC played in 11 consecutive national championship games and won eight, a feat unequaled in any NAIA sport.
After graduating from Woodland High School and Lewis and Clark College in Oregon, Cheff coached high school football and taught English before he was hired to coach baseball and serve as the Affirmative Action officer at LCC.
Nearly 170 of Cheff's former players have continued their baseball careers, playing professionally at some level, and 14 have advanced to the Major League.
During summers, Cheff coached in the Alaska League with the Anchorage Bucs and Fairbanks Alaska Goldpanners. His Goldpanners won the National Baseball Congress Championship in 2002. He also served as an assistant coach with the USA National Team in 1991 and '94.
Cheff was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2006 and the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1994, and he was placed on the Baseball Wall of Honor at LCC in 2002.