CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Harvard baseball coach Joe Walsh, who led the Crimson to five Ivy League titles in 17 seasons, died yesterday. He was 58.
The university said Walsh died at his home in Chester, N.H. His wife, Sandra, said it is believed her husband of 26 years had a heart attack.
Walsh was 347-388-2 at Harvard and 204-136 in Ivy League play, leading the team to a school-best 36-12 record in 1998 and No. 24 national ranking.
Before coaching Harvard, Walsh spent 15 years as head coach at his alma mater, Suffolk University in Boston. He had an overall record of 569-564-3 at both schools.
Harvard athletics director Bob Scalise called Walsh's death "a tragic day for everyone associated with Harvard athletics, Massachusetts baseball and the larger baseball community."
Walsh also worked for years in the Cape Cod League, serving as head coach for the Brewster Whitecaps and serving stints with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox and the Wareham Gatemen.
Sandra Walsh called her husband a generous and kindhearted man who believed in old-fashioned morals and put his loved ones ahead of himself. And while he loved all sports, "he lived baseball," she said.
Morgan Brown, a Harvard assistant baseball coach, said Walsh brought "a whole new energy level" to coaching baseball for nearly a third of a century in Boston.
In addition to his wife, the Boston native is survived by four daughters.