NEWARK, Del. --  Despite the rains that washed out the golf outing, the annual University of Delaware Baseball Alumni Outing held this past weekend was a huge success.

The alumni gathered for a reception to honor former Blue Hen head coach Bob Hannah on Friday, Oct. 11, and followed with a pre-game tailgate as part of the Delaware football Homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 12, at Delaware Stadium.

Former Blue Hen players Alex Buchholz (Delaware ‘09), Paul Murphy (Delaware ‘86), and Randy Simmons (Delaware ‘90) were recognized as special Alumni Honorees at the tailgate.

The golf outing, scheduled for Friday morning at Back Creek Golf Club in Middletown, Del., was canceled due to rain, but the group of over 150 alumni remained on hand to honor Coach Hannah, a member of the College Baseball Hall of Fame and one of the winningest coaches in college baseball history with 1,053 victories and 12 NCAA Tournament appearances.

Over 60 of the alumni who returned to Newark played either for Hannah, who served as head coach between 1965-2000, or current head coach Jim Sherman, who took over the reigns from Hannah in 2001.

Sherman, himself a former Blue Hen baseball standout, and four other former Blue Hens addressed the group during the reception and spoke about the great experiences and thanked Hannah for his contributions to the program.

Mickey DeMatteis (Delaware ’78): “The large turnout on a rainy day was a true testament to the tremendous impact Coach Hannah had on all of us.  There is a common thread among all UD baseball that transcends the decades. The new baseball facilities will take that bond even further.”

David Yates (Delaware ’70): “We all know that Coach Hannah was a great coach.....his record confirmed that. What we all realize now is that he was a better person, and for me he is an even better friend.”

Darren Pulito (Delaware ’99), Rich McGuire (Delaware ’03), Mickey DeMatteis (Delaware ’78), and Yates presented Hannah with a signed rendering of the Bob Hannah Stadium renovation, which is scheduled to be completed by spring 2014. The renovations to Bob Hannah Stadium will include the installation of an artificial turf surface and replacement of the dugouts, bullpens, batting cages, scoreboard, backstop and all fences. The $2.5 million project is the most significant program investment in the history of Delaware Baseball.  The rendering was signed by all the alumni who attended the event.

"This weekend was a tremendous success and shows how involved our alumni are with our program,” said Sherman. “They are the cornerstone of the past, present and the future. The opportunity to honor Coach Hannah and hear him talk to the group brought chills to everyone in attendance.”