Dave Keilitz, an All-American baseball player for Central Michigan in the 1960s, head coach for 14 seasons and athletic director for a decade, will be honored in spring 2018 when the baseball field at Theunissen Stadium is named for him.
The CMU Board of Trustees approved the move today.
“Dave Keilitz continues to be an important part of CMU Athletics,” Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Michael Alford said. “He remains dedicated to our student-athletes, and he serves as a logical sounding board for coaches and administrators. Dave and his wife, Sue, were among the first people I met when I started at CMU, and I quickly learned how engaged they are with the entire campus and community.
“Dave set the foundation and expectation for success in CMU baseball, and there is no more fitting name for the field.”
A specific date to honor Keilitz at Theunissen Stadium will be scheduled early in 2018. His number, along with Dean Kreiner’s, will be retired the same day. Kreiner was Keilitz’s pitching coach for 14 years, then led CMU’s baseball program from 1985-1998, won a program-best 516 games and earned six Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year awards. He was inducted into the CMU Athletics Marcy Weston Hall of Fame in 2003.
Keilitz never had a losing season in his run as CMU’s baseball coach from 1971-84, and he finished with a record of 456-203. His time as head coach came as CMU moved from Division II to Division I. Keilitz’s teams won four Mid-American Conference titles, and Keilitz was a four-time MAC Coach of the Year. Twice he was named an NCAA Regional Coach of the Year.
As a player, he was the Chippewas’ MVP in 1964 and was named to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-American First Team.
Overall, Keilitz, who was inducted into the Marcy Weston Hall of Fame in 1994, spent 30 years at CMU. After he stepped down from his athletic director role at CMU, Keilitz became a national voice for amateur baseball and served as the executive director of the American Baseball Coaches Association for two decades after he stepped down from his athletic director role at CMU.
He was inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame in 1989. He also is a member of the Midland County Sports Hall of Fame (1991), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame (2008) and the Mid-American Conference Hall of Fame (2013).