LSU Gold

Bertman Statue Approved by Hall of Fame Committee

by Bill Franques
Bertman Statue Approved by Hall of Fame Committee

BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU Athletic Hall of Fame Committee has unanimously approved a proposal that a statue honoring baseball legend Skip Bertman be erected on campus.

Details about the design and construction of the Skip Bertman statue will be announced in the coming months.

In 18 seasons as the head baseball coach at LSU (1984-2001), he led the Tigers to five National Championships (1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000) and seven Southeastern Conference Championships.  He finished his career with a record of 870-330-3.

Bertman guided LSU to 11 College World Series appearances, 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, and he coached 31 LSU players who reached Major League Baseball.  He was named National Coach of the Year six times (1986, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000) and SEC Coach of the Year seven times (1986, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997). After retiring from coaching, Bertman served as LSU’s athletic director from 2001-08.

Bertman helped grow interest in the sport of LSU baseball from an average attendance of less than 500 fans per game in 1983 to becoming the annual NCAA attendance leader. The average paid attendance for LSU baseball today is over 10,000 per game.

“I can think of no LSU athletic figure more deserving of a statue than Skip Bertman,” said LSU Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva. “He is arguably the greatest coach in college baseball history with an amazing portfolio of championships and honors. However, what distinguishes Skip the most from other coaches is the impact he made upon the sport on a nationwide level. He had a clear vision of how to make college baseball both popular and profitable, and today the game enjoys unprecedented recognition.”

Bertman represented LSU on the international stage as well, serving as assistant coach on several USA national teams and the 1988 U.S. Olympic Gold Medal Team, and he was head coach of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team in Atlanta that won the Bronze Medal.

Bertman is a member of the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame, the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the College Baseball Hall of Fame.  Upon his retirement as baseball coach, his No. 15 jersey was retired at LSU.

Bertman remains today a pillar of the Baton Rouge community, serving on numerous philanthropic organizations such as United Way, Cancer Services and the Alzheimer’s Association, and he has been honored by the likes of the Arthritis Foundation, the Boy Scouts of America and the Anti-Defamation League.