BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - LSU unveiled a statue of legendary baseball coach Skip Bertman.
The ceremony was held at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13, near the home plate entrance of Alex Box Stadium, at the newly constructed ‘Legacy Plaza.’ The event was open to the public.
“I learned a lot of things. But what I learned most of all, is that I can get whatever I wanted if I helped enough other people get what they wanted. That if you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon it everyday, it will come to pass,” said Bertman.
Bertman was the head baseball coach for the Tigers from 1984 until 2001. He was also the athletic director from 2001 until 2008. As a coach, he led LSU to five national championships (1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000) and seven SEC championships.
“The great achievements on the field will forever be unmatched. But what he has done again to the countless people, will go on forever and ever, as well,” said LSU athletic director Scott Woodward.
Bertman finished his 18-season career with a record of 870-330-3 and still holds the mark for highest winning percentage (.724) in the SEC.
“I told Skip, I don’t have as a goal, to become the greatest coach in LSU Baseball history. That will never happen. I just want to be the second best. But really, what I told Skip, is all I really want to do is make you proud,” said current LSU head baseball coach Paul Mainieri.
Bertman guided the Tigers to 11 College World Series appearances and 16 NCAA Tournament appearances. 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).
Mike Fontenot played under Bertman during the 2000 National Championship team.
“You say his name everywhere in the nation, and they associate him with LSU. Building a program, and teaching all those guys who had a chance to play for him about how to be young men, responsible in the community, and be great ball players,” said Fontenot.
Bertman credits his family for sticking behind him all these years.
“No one can be successful, unless he or she has a family that is as supportive or giving. You represent LSU, you represent your family, and you represent your maker,” said Bertman.
This is the fourth statue of an LSU athletic legend, to go along with Shaquille O’Neal, Bob Petit, and Billy Cannon.