Lee Eilbracht

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Lee Paul Eilbracht

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Biographical Information[edit]

Lee Eilbracht was an All-American catcher, a minor league player, and a longtime college coach.

Raised in Waterloo, Illinois, Eilbracht starred in baseball, basketball, and tennis in high school. After attending the University of Illinois for a time, he served in the Army during World War II. After the war, he returned to the University of Illinois and was the baseball team's Most Valuable Player in 1946 and 1947. He led the Big Ten Conference with a .484 average in 1946 and was an All-American the following year.

Eilbracht began his pro career in 1947 with the Davenport Cubs of the Three-I League. He was a player-manager of the Clinton Cubs for part of 1948 when they won the Central Association title and then was player-manager for the Sioux Falls Canaries from mid-1949 to mid-1951. He ended his playing career with the Danville Dans in 1952.

Following the death of coach Wally Roettger, Eilbracht became head coach of the University of Illinois in 1952. Under his leadership, the Illini were co-champions of the Big Ten in 1952 and 1953 and outright champions in 1962 and 1963. He remained coach of the team through 1978, winning 518 games over 27 seasons. As of 2013, he is the school's all-time winningest coach.

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