OXFORD, Ohio – Longtime Miami University baseball head coach Jon Pavlisko passed away Friday, Aug. 23 at the age of 71 after battling cancer in the latter stages of his life. He died in his hometown of McAllen, Texas, where he resided for the last 15 years, with friends and family by his side.
Pavlisko, who coach at Miami from 1983-1996, remains the program’s all-time winningest coach. In 14 seasons at the helm of the Redskins, he led Miami to 379 wins in 766 games coached. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native guided Miami to Mid-American Conference regular-season and tournament championships in his first season in 1983, leading the Redskins to a 36-15 mark. The MAC Tournament title was Miami’s first in program history, while the Redskins also earned a berth in the NCAA Mideast Regional that year, as Miami beat Indiana State in its opening game.
During Pavlisko’s tenure, Miami posted eight winning seasons, including a career-best 37 wins in 1988 when Miami went 37-22 and finished third in the MAC. The Redskins placed in the top four in the MAC five times under Pavlisko’s watch while he was named MAC Coach of the Year in 1983, following his successful first season.
Pavlisko earned his bachelor’s degree from West Liberty State College, his master’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University and his PhD from the University of Utah. Prior to becoming the head coach at Miami, he was an assistant baseball coach at Central Michigan for 12 years, when he was also a professor of kinesiology at CMU.
Pavlisko, who was born on Sept. 11, 1941, is preceded in death by his parents, John Francis and Carmella DeLucia Pavlisko, and his wife, Kathleen Armbrecht Pavlisko.
Pavlisko is survived by his siblings, Richard P. (Norma), Marie Ferraro, Frank P. (Debbie), and Sheridan Molinari, as well as his sons, Chris P. (Renee), Cory P. (Alice), and Todd P. (Rebecca). He is also survived by his grandchildren, Taylor, Andrew, Zachary and Ryan; his nieces, Kristin, Stephanie, Abby, and Jenna; and his nephew, Marc.
The Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, Aug., 28 at 10:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 306 S. 15th St. McAllen, Texas. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking people to donate to Hospice Compassionate Care Services, LLC of Mission, Texas in Pavlisko’s memory.