Legendary Columbia Basin College coach and athletic director Len Pyne has died.
The 92-year-old Hall of Famer was a pioneering coach at CBC from 1956-85, helping guide 17 teams to NWAACC championships in basketball and golf. But baseball was his first love.
He moved to the Tri-Cities in 1957 and took over the CBC baseball program, which was in its second year.
He won back-to-back East Regional championships in ‘63 and ’64. The second title ended his final season on the diamond with a career record of 166-73.
During his tenure, Pyne made sure to schedule five to seven regular-season baseball games against four-year schools like Washington State and Washington.
“(Former WSU coach) Buck Bailey said no one cared if he got beat in March, “ Pyne said in 2003. “He had to get ready for Oregon State and Washington.”
I think in my own case, I was here at the right time to see a lot of winning teams.
Len Pyne, former CBC baseball coach
In 1957 and 58, Pyne’s Hawks swept the Cougars in doubleheaders to go 4-0.
He went on to coach golf (12 NWAACC titles in 15 years), was an assistant in basketball (seven titles in eight years) and also served as director of athletics and chairman of the physical education department.
Altogether, Pyne assisted 12 years in basketball. He also helped get football started as a line coach that first season.
“I think in my own case, I was here at the right time to see a lot of winning teams, “ Pyne said.
In 2002, he was inducted into the Central Washington Sports Hall of Fame. In 2015, he was voted into the Washington State American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame.
He died Tuesday in Kennewick. Mueller’s Tri-Cities Funeral Home is handling his services.