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(NEWS CENTER) -- Legendary University of Maine baseball coach John Winkin died Saturday.

Winkin put Maine baseball on the map. He became head coach of the black bears in 1975 and lead his team to six college world series appearances. Winkin finished his coaching career at Husson University, leaving the program at the age of 86.

Beyond his remarkable coaching career, Winkin was a mentor and friend to everyone in Maine's baseball community and to University of Southern Maine baseball coach Ed Flaherty, Winkin was an inspiration.

"Just one of the most respected men I've ever met in my life. You always felt comfortable around him. You always felt important to John at all times," Flaherty said. "I always thought I was his favorite guy, but I think there were three hundred guys that also though that. Just a fantastic man."

Throughout his storied career at Colby College, Husson University, and most notably the University of Maine, Winkin touched the lives of thousands of baseball players. The award for the best high school senior baseball player is named in his honor.

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