The legacy of former Troy University baseball coach Chase Riddle extends well beyond the current playing field that bears his name. Even further than the back-to-back NCAA Division II national championships and 434 games he won during his 12 years at the helm of the Trojans.
The TROY coaching icon, who passed away June 12 at the age of 85, biggest legacy was the impact he had on the lives of his players; an impact so great that the sons of at least 15 former players are named for him.
“That is a remarkable symbol of the respect and admiration that his players felt for him,” said TROY Chancellor, Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. “Chase Riddle was truly a player’s coach—which I believe is one of the highest compliments a man in his profession can be paid. Coach Riddle was an icon. We have lost a great friend.”
One such player is current TROY assistant baseball coach Mark Smartt, who played for Riddle from 1986-1987.
“He was instrumental in so many people’s lives,” Smartt said. “The fact that my son bears his name speaks to the man and what he meant to all of us. I don’t think I can even find words to adequately express all he meant to me and to each of his former players. I’m proud to have known him and had the pleasure of being around him. He meant so much to so many.”
Riddle, a TROY alumnus, took over as head coach of the Trojans in 1978. He led the program to five Gulf South Championships (1980-82, 1986- 87), six NCAA Central Region Championships (1980-81, 1984-87) along with the two national titles.