Coppin dismisses Blair as coach

Former Oriole compiles record of 30-185 in 5 years

College Baseball

May 23, 2002|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Life was so much simpler for Paul Blair in the 1960s and '70s when he was playing center field for the Orioles, winning eight Gold Gloves and helping the team capture world championships in 1966 and 1970.

Blair, 58, just could never translate that success off the field as coach of the Coppin State baseball team.

Yesterday, athletic director Fang Mitchell announced that Blair's contract will not be renewed when it expires on July 1.

"The decision has been made to take the baseball program in a different direction," Mitchell said.

Blair could not be reached for comment, either at his office or at home.

Coppin had a 12-37 record this season, including a 9-7 mark for a second-place finish in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference North Division. But in his five years at Coppin, Blair compiled a record of 30-185, having strung together records of 1-44, 5-40, 4-31 and 8-33 from 1998 to 2001.

Blair played for the Orioles from 1964 to 1976 and, along with Brooks Robinson and Mark Belanger, helped build Baltimore into one of the best defensive teams in baseball. That trio led the Orioles to three straight World Series appearances from 1969 to 1971.

Coppin announced that a search for a successor will begin immediately.

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