UNO baseball coach Ron Maestri has decided to step down, multiple outlets reported Sunday.
The 74-year-old, who could not be reached for comment, coached the Privateers for the past two seasons after a 14-year stint leading the program from 1972-85. WGNO was the first to report the move; a representative of the UNO athletic department could not confirm the news.
UNO lost a pair of games Saturday to Southeastern Louisiana to finish the season 14-40 overall and 3-27 in Southland Conference play.
Maestri’s record during his 16 years as coach of the Privateers is 543-315-1, but that has taken a hit in the past two seasons — the first two losing seasons of his career — as the Privateers combined to go 25-78.
Maestri led the Privateers to prominence during the 1970s and ’80s, guiding them to 10 seasons of 34 or more wins, nine NCAA tournament appearances and two College World Series berths. Thanks to the impact Maestri had on UNO during the early part of his career, the school named its new baseball stadium Maestri Field in 1979.
After retiring in 1985, Maestri took over head coaching duties again in 2013 after the baseball program was decimated following the school’s decision to move from Division I to Division II or III. The school later opted to remain in Division I, but only after many of the student-athletes from the school’s various programs left.
Maestri, who spent the previous eight years as executive director and COO of the New Orleans Zephyrs, took the job hoping he could help the program return to its former prominence.
“I’m back because we’ve got to get that Privateer pride back,” he said at the news conference announcing his return. “We’re gonna have a lot of character and represent the university well. The (wins) and (losses) — of course I want to win — but I’m at the stage of my life where ... it’s more about the kids and to make sure they enjoy what they’re doing.”