In 1971, Les Murakami became the part-time Head coach for the University of Hawaii baseball team. He had no scholarships, no baseball field and no equipment to participate in a local baseball league.

During the next 30 years, he built an NCAA division 1 power with full scholarships, an on-campus stadium and an all-collegiate schedule. He became one of the best coaches in college baseball history, posting a total of 1,079 wins.

In his career, Murakami coached over 400 college players. Seventy-six of them went on to play professional baseball.

Other achievements include, Hawai’1 Sportsman of the Year (1977, 1980), Lefty Gomez Award (1981), District Coach of the Year (1986), WAC Coach of the Year (1987, 1991), and in 2000 he was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Under his leadership his University of Hawai’i team won the WAC (Western Athletic Conference) Championship six times, went to the NCAA tournament 11 times, was ranked number 1 in the nation during 1979, and was the runner-up at the College World Series in 1980.

Les Murakami was born in Hawal’i and graduated from St. Louis High School in 1954.

BORN 1936

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