Ed Cheff spent 34 seasons as head baseball coach at Lewis-Clark State College before he retired in September of 2010. He built one of the most impressive collegiate athletic teams in the nation at any level and led the Warriors to 16 NAIA national titles.
From 1982-1992 the Warriors played in 11 consecutive NAIA National Championship games and won eight—a feat unequalled by a collegiate team at any level in any sport. Five of these titles were earned in the 1980’s, five more in the 1990’s and six in the new millennium, including three straight during 2006-2008.
Cheff finished with an overall record of 1,705-430 for a .799 winning percentage. His win total ranks second only to Wichita State’s Gene Stephenson’s 1,724 wins with the same program in all of college baseball. His win total also is fourth all-time among all college baseball coaches.
Cheff’s accomplishments are nothing short of amazing. Under his leadership, the Warriors captured 16 NAIA national titles during a 25-year span, won at least 40 games for 30 straight seasons, and produced 121 players who were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, including 14 who have make it to the big leagues as of 2010.
LCSC went to the NAIA World Series a record 28 times under Cheff, more than double than any other NAIA program. Of those 28 appearances, LCSC finished fourth or higher 25 times.
Cheff not only built successful collegiate baseball teams but also worked to instill a sense of pride and work ethic in each Warrior that came through the program. Warrior Baseball is valued by the local community for its dedication to active involvement with local events, fundraisers, and volunteer programs. The impact of the program is noteworthy both on and off the field.
Cheff was named NAIA Coach of the Year eight times and he still often addresses clinics outside the Lewis-Clark Valley. He has addressed the American Baseball Coaches Association on six occasions and was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1994 and the ABCA Hall of Fame in 2006
In 2009, Cheff was named the winner of the ABCA’s 2009 Lefty Gomez Award for his lifetime contribution to amateur baseball. Cheff coached Team USA in 1994 as its hitting and third base coach at the World Championships. Cheff’s teams produced 72 NAIA All Americans and three NAIA Players of the Year.
Cheff, who was raised in Butte, came to LSCS after a successful coaching career at Lower Columbia Community College and replaced Ramon Hooker at LCSC following the 1976 season. One of the trademarks of Cheff’s teams was their mental toughness.
Ed and his wife Karen have three sons-Trevor, Tyler and Toby.