Lewis University Baseball Retires Irish O’Reilly’s Number
MAY 3, 2014
Prior to the LEWIS vs BELLARMINE games
After nearly three decades as the Head Baseball Coach at Lewis University, Henry “Irish” O’Reilly was honored by the University with one of the highest athletic honors - the retirement of his number.
See pictures of the ceremony! (Photography by Derek Abin)
The longest-serving head coach in Great Lakes Valley Conference history, Irish finished his 29th season at the University in 2007. He held the record for the most wins in Lewis baseball history.
Irish was honored for his numerous coaching accomplishments and contributions to college baseball through his induction into the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame in January 2008. Lewis baseball has had just four head coaches in its history, and two - O'Reilly and Gordie Gillespie - are ABCA Hall of Fame members.
Irish served 38 years as a head coach at the college, junior college and high school levels. He compiled a 982-771-8 (.560) at Lewis. He ranks 11th in victories among all baseball coaches in NCAA Division II history. He has coached 41 All-Americans and has seen 51 of his former players sign professional baseball contracts, with four making it to the majors and one earning a gold medal at the 2000 Olympics. Additionally, more than 50 of Irish’s former players have gone on to coach at various levels of baseball.
Along with his fine coaching, Irish also has spearheaded multiple, highly successful fund-raising campaigns in support of the Athletics programs, assisting in bringing in funding for scholarships, equipment, travel and more.