Augie Garrido, who took Texas and Cal State Fullerton to national titles, dies

Hall of Famer Augie Garrido, the winningest coach in college baseball history, died Thursday at the age of 79.

Garrido,?who led Texas to two national titles, had been hospitalized earlier this month following a stroke.?

Garrido began at Texas in 1997. His personality -- California cool and an aura as a Zen master who talked as much about thinking about winning as swinging a bat -- took some time to take root at Texas. But once he did, Garrido had the Longhorns back among the nation's top programs. He spent 20 years at Texas, reaching the NCAA tournament 15 times, with eight College World Series appearances.

The Longhorns, under Garrido, claimed national titles in 2002 and 2005.

Garrido also coached at San Francisco State, Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton and Illinois. He held two stints at Cal State Fullerton -- coaching there from 1973 to 1987 and 1991 to 1996 and winning national titles in both terms (1979, 1984, 1995).

He finished with 1,975 victories in a career that began in 1969 and included five College World Series titles and 15 CWS appearances.

"College baseball and the world lost one of the finest men in our coaching profession," FSU baseball coach Mike Martin, who needs just 18 victories to pass Garrido's total, said in a statement. "Augie dedicated his life to making young men better people. He will be deeply missed by myself and many others."

After exiting as Longhorns coach after the 2016 season, Garrido served as a special assistant to the school's athletic director.

He was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in July 2016.

With his team preparing to play its first-round game in the NCAA tournament, Texas basketball coach Shaka Smart took time out to talk about Garrido.

"Augie was a mentor of mine during my first couple years at Texas and this is terribly sad news," Smart said. "I knew Augie really well. He kind of took me under his wing when I first got to Texas. He came over to practice. A lot of people don't know this, but Augie is a basketball guy. Augie played basketball. That was kind of his first love.

"Obviously, baseball turned out pretty well for him.

"But he came to practice a couple times, and one of my favorite things to do was just sit and listen to him talk about his philosophy on coaching. There's so many things that I've taken from him. I'll never forget, we went to Magnolia Cafe. It was coach (Denny) Kuiper, myself, Augie and a guy by the name of Ken Ravizza who works for the Chicago Cubs.

"Coach Kuiper and I said about five words over the course of two hours and those guys talked the whole time. I have this black book that I make notes in, and I just filled it up.

"The thing that I loved about Augie is his passion and how much he cared about his guys, and he was unrelenting in expecting and demanding that people care about and respect the game to the level that he did. And to be honest, I think that was probably a frustration for him at times in some of the latter years. As a coach, that can be frustrating when you want certain things for a guy more than he wants himself.

"But Augie was as good as anyone at getting guys to see the light and I'm going to miss him a lot."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.