The American Baseball Coaches Association is grieving the loss of St. John's University legend and ABCA Board member Jack Kaiser. Kaiser was the longest-tenured ABCA Lifetime Member with 69 continuous years of membership and had previously served as ABCA President in 1969 as well as Chairman of the ABCA Board of Directors from 2010-13. Kaiser's first year of membership in the ABCA was in 1953, just nine years after the inception of the association.
Kaiser is synonymous with St. John's University having began his St. John's career as a baseball, basketball and soccer player in the late 1940s. During his stellar career on the baseball diamond, Kaiser led his team to the 1949 College World Series. He followed his playing career with a stint as an assistant coach for the St. John's baseball and basketball teams before his 18-year tenure as head coach from 1956-1973. Kaiser posted a 367-133-2 record and led the baseball program to 11 NCAA postseason appearances, including three College World Series trips in 1960, 1966 and 1968.
Kaiser transitioned to the role of Director of Athletics in 1973. In his first year as Athletic Director, Kaiser became President of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) Committee, a position that he held until 1988. During his tenure as Director of Athletics from 1973-1995, Kaiser also helped to form the Big East Conference and played a key role in developing the league for baseball. The league commemorated Kaiser by naming the Big East Conference Tournament's Most Outstanding Player Award in his honor.
Kaiser continued to be involved in the St. John's University Athletic Department in his most recent role as Athletic Director Emeritus. In 2007, St. John's University dedicated its baseball stadium in the namesake of Kaiser. He was also the inaugural recipient of the school's Lapchick Leadership Appreciation Award, which is presented to honor an individual with stellar leadership and character traits.
Kaiser received the prestigious ABCA/Wilson Lefty Gomez Award in 1973 for his contributions to the sport and was inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame in 1979. He was also a member of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League Hall of Fame. Kaiser co-founded the ACBL, which is an NCAA sanctioned summer league.