Arizona Baseball

Moen on Kindall: “He was a man of his word,” and other reactions to the legendary coach’s passing

Christmas time is one to celebrate life, specifically that of baby Jesus coming into this world bringing hope and righteousness to the world.

Jerry Kindall’s life reflected that for those who were closely associated with him during his 24 years as Arizona’s head coach from 1973 to 1996. His name will be forever associated with the Christmas holiday season after his passing at age 82 on Christmas Eve following a massive stroke.

Jerry Kindall won three College World Series titles as Arizona’s coach in 1976, 1980 and 1986.

The deeply religious man left a lasting impact on his players, fellow coaches, administrators, and fans alike.

Robbie Moen, one of Kindall’s finest hitters at Arizona who batted .402 in 1991, messaged me yesterday to offer his thoughts on Kindall:

“He was a man of his word. He never minced his words, and he always told you the truth — whether you wanted to hear it or not,” Moen wrote. “And because of that, you had the utmost respect for him. Coach Kindall taught me to respect authority, he showed me the importance of doing things the proper way and not taking shortcuts, and finally he was the reason Arizona Baseball was as good as it was, and why I wanted to be part of it. Coach Kindall is an icon of the University of Arizona Athletics and he will be always be remembered and never forgotten.”

Moen’s teammate at Arizona, pitcher Tod Brown, now the head coach at North Dakota State, issued this statement:

“It was an honor and privilege to play for Coach Kindall. I can say with confidence that I am in a better position in life due to Coach Kindall and the Arizona Baseball program. He will be deeply missed.”

Kindall and ASU coaching legend Jim Brock had some historic games because of talent on both sides during their hey day. They exhibited that an intense rivalry can be handled with class and dignity between them.

Former ASU player Willie Bloomquist offered this heartfelt tweet of Kindall:

The following are some reactions of Kindall’s passing, including those of my own. I was fortunate to be the Arizona baseball beat reporter for The Arizona Daily Star in the early 1990’s when Moen was starring for the Wildcats after his stellar career at Flowing Wells.

This first: In all my dealings with Kindall, the word that sticks out the most: class. What he showed to everybody is the way he certainly was, a lifestyle that is a lesson for all us, really. He was a person his players, coaching staff and the University of Arizona could count on because he was wholesome and stuck to his values.

He would occasionally ask to speak with me individually after the interview sessions were over following games. I felt like a player must have felt when Kindall pulled them aside.

He questioned sometimes why I wrote something the way I did, especially after an Arizona loss. He did so in a respectful manner, not in a condescending way. He just wanted to offer his opinion and give his viewpoint on what happened in the game. I understood that and respected wholeheartedly what he had to say.

This was a legend having a conversation with me about baseball. Can that be topped?

Kindall also offered his thanks and his encouragement to me as a young reporter. Our exchanges will last with me forever.

The reactions:

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

To Top