Frank Sancet inducted into College Baseball Hall of Fame
Sports Director: Jason Barr
Lubbock, Texas (Arizona Athletics)
Frank Sancet, who led the Arizona Wildcats baseball program to national prominence beginning in the 1950s, was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame on Saturday night.
Sancet took over the UA program in 1950 and coached for 23 seasons. He won 831 games, lost 283 and tied eight throughout his career from 1950-72. He announced his retirement before the start of his final season in 1972, and after winning 38 ballgames that year, finished as the second-winningest coach in NCAA history at the time. Sancet's .744 winning percentage remains the seventh-highest all-time for Division I coaches with a minimum of 10 years as a coach.
Arizona qualified for the NCAA district and regional playoffs a total of 16 times in his 23 seasons. He guided the Wildcats to nine College World Series appearances, including the school's first visit in 1954. Three times UA advanced to the national title game.
During his 23 seasons on the bench, 39 players received All-America recognition, 32 were tabbed All-WAC South and eight were named to the All-College World Series team. A total of 66 of his players signed contracts to play professional baseball, of which 15 went on to play in the Major Leagues.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1907, Sancet moved to Arizona in 1915 and was an outstanding student-athlete for the Wildcats during his collegiate days lettering in football, basketball and baseball. He graduated from the University in 1933 with a bachelor's degree in physical education and received his master's in education from Northern Arizona in 1940. A catcher on the diamond, Sancet played professionally in three leagues after leaving Arizona - the Utah-Idaho, Southeastern and Arizona-Texas leagues.
Once he finished his pro career, Sancet turned to coaching and returned to Arizona. He coached at Mansfield Junior High in Tucson, Jerome High School for five years and five more at Douglas High School before joining the staff at Arizona in 1947. In his early days at UA, Sancet was an assistant coach in football and baseball and freshman basketball coach before taking over as head coach of baseball in 1950.
During his collegiate coaching career, Sancet was a past president of the American Coaches Association of College Baseball Coaches and he served as a member of the NCAA Rules Committee for four years.
In 1967, Arizona built a brand-new on campus ballpark that was named Wildcat Field. On April 19, 1986, the venue was officially renamed Frank Sancet Field in honor of the long-time coach. The facility was renamed to also honor Sancet's successor, Jerry Kindall, in January 2004.
Jerry Kindal Field at Frank Sancet Stadium was home to UA baseball for 45 seasons. The Wildcats emerged victorious in 1,144 games and posted 41 winning seasons at the ballpark. In February 2012, UA baseball began playing home games at nearby Hi Corbett Field, where bronze plaques of the two Hall of Fame coaches greet fans entering through the main gates.
Sancet was the third member of the UA baseball program to inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame. Kindall was elected in 2007, and Terry Francona was inducted in June 2011.