WMU News

Broncos salute coaching legend Fred Decker

May 11, 2004

KALAMAZOO--After 29 seasons at Western Michigan University, baseball coach Fred Decker is retiring. He has been associated with the Broncos as a player and coach for more than 40 years and has won more contests than any other coach in any sport in school history.

The community is invited to join in a salute to Fred Decker at Saturday's 1 p.m. baseball game versus Kent State at Hyames Field. Admission is free. This weekend's contests are the home-coaching finale for Decker.

Saturday's celebration includes 29-cent hotdogs in honor of Decker's 29 seasons at WMU. The first 99 fans will receive a "Decker Checker," for an opportunity to win Bronco baseball prizes throughout the game. Former players will be on hand to pay tribute to their coach.

Going into this week's action, Decker's overall record stands at 787-706-6. His 399 league wins are the most in Mid-American Conference annals.

Decker took over the Bronco baseball program in June 1975 after serving eight seasons as an assistant coach under Bill Chambers. In a career that has spanned nearly three decades, Decker has produced 87 major league draft picks, 53 All-MAC First Team performers and 10 All-American selections. During Decker's tenure, Western Michigan has posted a winning record against all MAC schools, as well as every Division I opponent in the state.

His 1982 squad swept 10 consecutive doubleheaders en route to a 20-game winning streak, finishing with a school-record 34 wins and a MAC West Division title. WMU also clinched the 1983 MAC West title under Decker, and in 1989, the Broncos captured the MAC regular season crown, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament.

With such success, honors have been numerous for Decker. In 1993, he was inducted into the WMU Athletic Hall of Fame and named the W Club Man of the Year. Decker was also named MAC Coach of the Year and Mideast Regional Coach of the Year in 1989.

Media contact: Jeff Rank, 269 387-3673, jeff.rank@wmich.edu

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