Mel Krause Passes Away Friday Morning

EUGENE -- Former University of Oregon baseball coach Mel Krause, who remains as the second-winningest baseball coach in school history and was instrumental in the return of the program following a 26-year absence, passed away Friday morning due to complications from acute myeloid leukemia.

The 80-year-old Krause (2/24/28), who served as a player, assistant and head coach of the Ducks' baseball program in a career that spanned five decades, died at his home at about 6:15 a.m. He served as the head coach from 1970 to 1981 when the program was eliminated, during which time he accumulated a 218-220-1 record and won two conference Northern Division championships.

He is a member of three sports Hall of Fames, including the Oregon Athletics Hall of Fame (2001), the Portland Interscholastic League (2202) and the State of Oregon Hall of Fame (2002).

Beyond his long career as a player and coach at Oregon, Krause left his mark throughout the state as a three-sport star at Portland's Commerce High School (now Cleveland), a professional baseball player in the Northwest League from 1954 to 1961, and as a basketball coach at Milwaukee, Franklin, North Eugene and Sheldon high schools. He led Franklin (1956) and North Eugene (1963) to basketball state championships, and led Sheldon to a state baseball title in 1966.

Following his coaching career, Krause worked as a scout for the San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"We are saddened by the news of the passing of one of the true legends in Oregon history," said Oregon Athletics Director Pat Kilkenny. "Very few people touch the number of lives Mel Krause did. His influence transcends all facets of life, as the thousands of people he coached and taught are now bringing forth his dedication to integrity, loyalty and determination to an entirely new generation. We honor his life, pray for his family and will always hold a special place for him in our hearts."

The University of Oregon will recognize Krause's life in its new ballpark with a special commemoration and entrance monument upon completion next year.

Krause was diagnosed with the disease just months after the university's baseball program was reinstated on July 13, 2007. Krause spent the last 27 years working for reinstatement of the program and was instrumental in the decision to bring back Oregon baseball. He also served as a volunteer consultant in the planning and design of the school's new state-of-the art baseball park, and in the hiring of two time National Coach of the Year George Horton.

The University recently held a living memorial to honor Krause, called "9 innings with Mel," in which prominent figures from Mel's life spoke about his indelible impact. More than 1,000 people attended the event in the Club at Autzen Stadium to pay tribute and share stories. Mel requested the event be held in lieu of a funeral. No further services are planned.

Mel is survived by his wife, Jan, as well as son Guy and daughters Gail Gaboriault, Jill Danikin and Kay Krause. At his request, all contributions in his honor should be made to the University of Oregon Baseball Equity Fund at 2727 Leo Harris Parkway, Eugene, Ore. 97401, or to the Commerce/Cleveland High School Alumni Association at 3400 SE 26th Ave. Portland, Ore. 97202.

eDuck Top Stories