Doug Wabeke Obituary!! The sudden death of legendary baseball coach Doug Wabeke has saddened the baseball community. The news has been followed by messages of condolences to the grieving family.
While many fans may be unfamiliar with his work, Wabeke was a significant coach for universities such as Valley State University, Davenport University, and Grand Rapids Community College.
In the wake of the unfortunate news about the coach’s passing, fans want to know more about the incident and what led to the death of the esteemed coach.
Douglas Jay Wabeke was an American former baseball player and a baseball coach, more popularly known for his time with the Grand Rapids Community College.
Wabeke was born in Grand Haven, Michigan, on February 24, 1958. He completed high school at Rapids Community College and attended Central Michigan University.
He played as a first, second, and third baseman and was possibly the most versatile player. In the 1980 MLB Draft, the San Francisco Giants picked the first baseman in the 42nd round.
His career as a coach started with a two-year apprenticeship under former Grand Rapids Junior College coach Tom Hofmann. After being hand-picked by his mentor to succeed him, Wabeke managed the team for 17 years.
Wabeke has won four national championships for the GRCC on top of the 14 Michigan Community College Athletic Association titles and nine Region XII championships.
Doug Wabeke Obituary
The baseball community is beyond devastated at the news of the passing of the legendary coach Doug Wabeke.
Several former and current players have shown love, appreciation, and condolences to Wabeke’s family.
According to reports, the famous coach took his last breath on November 25, 2020. However, there has been no information regarding his exact cause of death.
Almost a year ago, Grand Rapids College inducted Wabeke into the NJCAA Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame.
The Athletic Director, Lauren Ferullo, spoke during the event, thanking Wabeke for creating a history they can be proud of.
He added, “…the team was dominating when Coach Wabeke was at the helm. It is wonderful to see him honored by the NJCAA, reflecting respect for his career and the GRCC Athletics program.”
The baseball ace had returned to Grand Rapids in 1986 as the assistant coach after finishing his stint in the minor leagues with the San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Moreover, at the 2004 World Series, Wabeke led his team on an undefeated journey to their fourth championship. Shortly after, the former athlete retired as the head coach and decided to attend to the administrative side as the athletic director.
Remembering His Legacy
Doug Wabeke made significant contributions to the baseball community, both as a player and as a coach.
As a player with the Grand Rapid Community College, Wabeke earned the All-American honors.
Meanwhile, the versatile athlete earned all-academic honors in the two seasons he played with Central Michigan and also won an All-MAC Conference honor.
Wabeke was vital in building up Davenport University’s baseball team, the Panthers.
In the 2015 season, as the team’s hitting coach, he led the team to a third-place finish in the NAIA World Series and the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Tournament.
During that season, the Panther had a batting average of .347, 34 triples, and 700 hits, which ranked them fourth in the nation. Meanwhile, with 504 runs, they ranked sixth in the country.
Besides his incredible run with the Grand Rapids Community College and Davenport University, Wabeke coached the Grand Valley State University, Miami University, and the USA Junior National Team at the 2003 Pan American Games.
However, compared to any trophy he’d ever won, Wabeke cherished the relationships and connections he made on his journey. Moreover, he admitted his most lasting memories were the ones they made while traveling to play the top-tier competition.
To those who knew Wabeke, he was an intelligent coach, a kind human being, a dear friend, and a valuable mentor. It will be long before the fans forget the name “Doug Wabeke.”