WACO, Texas — For 20 years, fans saw Mark Lumley help coach the Lady Bears softball team at Getterman Stadium.
Lumley announced Monday he that he will retire from coaching after 22 years coaching alongside Baylor head coach Glenn Moore.
Lumley is in his fourth bout with cancer. After his initial diagnosis in 2007, Lumley had his prostate removed, chemo treatments for cancer in his lymph nodes in 2015 and surgery in November 2018 for colorectal cancer.
The 2020 season, which was supposed to be his return to full-time coaching from his third bout, was cut short both by the COVID-19 pandemic. When doctors found cancer in his vertebrae in March, it forced him to miss the Lady Bears' trip to Houston and to play Florida.
Lumley, a Tucson, Arizona native, graduated from the University of Arizona in 1985 before he became a nationally-respected high school softball coach in Arizona.
The beloved coach's impact goes far beyond the stats He coached multiple All-American hitters in Waco.
"His passion for softball drove him to know so much about the sport and he just loved hitting," Jordan Strickland, who hit 14 home runs and 49 RBI's in Baylor's 2014 Women's College World Series run, told Baylor's Jerry Hill. "I think because he had coached so long, he always tried to have these innovative drills or ideas and never wanted us to be bored with anything. He wanted us to constantly be growing."
Even during his current fight with cancer, Lumley has still told his Wife Stacey, "I still feel like I have stuff to do," according to Hill.
The Baylor community paraded past Lumley's Waco home in April to offer a show of support for the beloved coach fighting for his life.
IN PICTURES | Baylor community supports beloved softball coach with parade
Moore said the parade was a chance to offer the same encouragement Lumley has provided countless athletes in his almost four decades of coaching.
"He's closer to me than my brothers, and I have a close relationship with them," Moore told Baylor Athletics. "But, he's just been by my side for so long, now. I have to say, he's the best man I've ever met in my life. I've never seen someone so unselfish and giving and loyal. He just has a heart for people and, in particular, for all the players we coach."
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