Jan. 25, 2011
Jack Leggett Photo Gallery
Cullowhee, N.C. - Former Western Carolina baseball coach and the program's all-time leader in victories Jack Leggett will be the keynote speaker at this year's "Celebration of Catamount Baseball" fundraising banquet that will be held on Saturday, Feb. 19. The second-ever event will be held in conjunction with WCU's 2011 season Opening Weekend with the banquet slated for Saturday., Feb. 19 at 7:00 pm in the Grand Room of the A.K. Hinds University Center on-campus.
Leggett, who was honored along with former WCU skipper Bill Haywood at the inaugural baseball banquet in 2008, will return to Cullowhee for the festivities on that special night. WCU will additionally recognize many of the driving forces behind the renovations to Childress Field / Hennon Stadium, which will be unveiled Opening Weekend as the Catamounts host Morehead State for a three-game, nonconference series.
"It is my humble obligation and duty to honor those great players and teams that have come before our current personnel," said current WCU head coach Moranda who is entering his fourth season at the helm. "My dream is to realize the long lasting program goal of traveling the 1,002 miles to compete in Omaha, home of the College World Series. But we need your financial support to reach that dream."
He added, "Having Jack Leggett return for this year's celebration banquet is huge. We want as many WCU baseball alum to come home for this weekend series, and more importantly, to share in this moment for Coach Leggett."
The cost to attend this year's "Celebration of Catamount Baseball" is $100 per person, or $700 a table (8 people per table). All proceeds from the dinner going directly into the "1002 Club," which will help subsidize the baseball operations fund. Dress is business casual.
To reserve your spot at the "2011 Celebration of Catamount Baseball," please contact WCU Director of Baseball Operations Justin Crawley at firstname.lastname@example.org or via cellular device: (828) 788-0032. Please RSVP by Wednesday, February 9th.
In addition, Moranda announced plans for the introduction of the "Leggett Legacy," in which one deserving player each season will wear jersey No. 7 in honor of Leggett. Also, Leggett's No. 7 will hang alongside the lone retired number in WCU baseball history - the No. 23 worn by former player and coach, the late Keith LeClair - on the left field fence at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium.
The unveiling of the fence memorial will be made when the Clemson Tigers visit Cullowhee on Wednesday, March 9 with first pitch at 4:00 pm.
"Among the many great past individuals that have influenced the success and the prestige of Western Carolina baseball, Jack Leggett stands out above most. Each season, we will name one player who exemplifies what it is to be a Catamount baseball player and that is deserving wear the No. 7 jersey to honor the foundation laid by Jack," Moranda added.
Leggett, who is entering his 18th season on the bench with the Clemson Tigers, spent nine seasons in the dugout in Cullowhee, amassing a program-best 302 career victories from 1983 through 1991. He guided the Catamounts to 10 combined Southern Conference championships and five NCAA tournament appearances.
He also helped shape the future of WCU baseball by recruiting and coaching his three successors in LeClair, Rodney Hennon and Todd Raleigh. Leggett's three protégés combined to win 567 games and a combined eight SoCon titles in 15 seasons, while also capturing five SoCon Coach of the Year honors.
Coming off a 37-win season and a runner-up finish in the 2010 Southern Conference Baseball Championship, Western Carolina opens team practice this Friday, Jan. 28 amidst the on-going renovation construction at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium in Cullowhee. The Catamounts return 19 letter winners from a season ago including six position players and three starting pitchers.
The SoCon preseason polls and all-conference teams are slated to be announced on Feb. 10 with Opening Day on Friday, Feb. 18.