Grambling State baseball will honor legendary coach Wilbert Ellis by retiring his No. 30 jersey this weekend.
Ellis a native of Ruston, Louisiana native spent 26 seasons as the head baseball coach after serving as the assistant coach to Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones for 17 seasons.
He built a great list of accomplishments during his tenure as head coach, posting a career coaching record of 740- 462-1.
Ellis led Grambling to eight divisional championships, three Southwestern Athletic Conference championships, and five NCAA regionals.
He was also named SWAC Coach of the Year seven times, including three years in a row from 1983 to 1985 while producing eight All-Americans and 48 players to sign with the MLB.
Ellis also brought the New York Yankees to Grambling State University to play exhibition games on campus three times.
He has been honored with numerous awards from Louisiana’s state legislature for his coaching and services to Grambling State and the Lincoln Parish community.
After Ellis’s coaching career was over he was honored by the NAACP and served on the NCAA’s Division 1 Baseball Advisory Committee.
Ellis also served as the regional/super regional tournament director for NCAA Division I Baseball for 12 years and was also honored by the NCAA by naming him to its list of Top 50 coaches with 200 or more wins.
Inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2007, Ellis is also a member of the SWAC Hall of Fame (2011), and was awarded the 2015 Robert E. Russ Award from the city of Ruston Chamber of Commerce for service to the community.
Ellis also conducts annual baseball camps for the youth in Ruston, Louisiana and in Omaha, Nebraska, during the College World Series. His contributions to the youth have led him to winning “Man of the Year” by the Ministers of Lincoln Parish and Russell Maryland Foundation in Chicago “Man of the Year” for athletics.
After being honored with a reception Thursday night at Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant, Louisiana, Ellis’ No. 30 jersey will be retired in a ceremony set to begin at 5:30 p.m. tonight before the first of Grambling’s State baseball team’s SWAC season opener at 6 p.m. on Wilbert Ellis Field at RWE Jones Park.
Ellis will also throw out the ceremonial first pitch of tonight’s game.
Before Saturday’s 3 p.m. Game Two between Grambling State and Southern, a 2:30 p.m. onfield ceremony will be held to unveil outfield wall signage commemorating the jersey retirements.
Late Grambling baseball coach RWE Jones will also have his No. 30 jersey retired this weekend.