Joe Duff, baseball coach at the Naval Academy since 1962, will retire from the job at the end of next season, Navy athletic director Jack Lengyel announced yesterday.
Duff will remain with the program for another year to assist his successor, University of Washington coach Bob MacDonald.
"I'm just about there. You can't go on forever," Duff said. "All I want to do is make sure the program keeps up and help in the transition."
Duff began with the Midshipmen in 1953 as an assistant coach under Max Bishop. As the head coach, his teams have compiled a 574-314-11 record, made three NCAA appearances and won five Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League titles.
"We could have made the [NCAA] tournament several other times," he said. "But we couldn't play because it fell on the weekend of the Army-Navy [baseball] game. That came first."
Duff learned baseball coaching from Bishop and also coached basketball under Ben Carnevale at Navy. "I was fortunate to work with those people," he said. "They gave me a great deal of help."
Last year, the Midshipmen had an 18-20 record.
MacDonald was the all-time leader in coaching wins at Washington, with a 421-322-7 record during 16 seasons. He was the Northern Division coach of the year in the Pac-10 Conference five times.
The Huskies made their first NCAA appearance since 1959 this year, upsetting Arizona and Fresno State before losing to Hawaii and eventual champion Pepperdine.
MacDonald "has had an excellent personal and team success at the Division I-A level in one of the toughest collegiate baseball leagues in the country, and I am confident that he will provide the continued commitment to excellence that the Naval Academy has had with its baseball program," Lengyel said.