"We were going to have to let one of them go," Fraser said.

He fully expected baseball to be the program that got cut. So in a last-ditch effort, Fraser called in some favors. Baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial, major league broadcaster Joe Garagiola and other notables showed up at a beach benefit banquet that impressed the school. In 1972, the university dropped basketball instead of baseball.

Fraser made the move pay off, finally leading Miami to its first College World Series appearance in 1974.

"On the field and off, Ron Fraser showed how one man can make a difference," acting Miami athletic director Blake James said. "The University of Miami, South Florida and college baseball are all better because of him."

One of his best teams would see Fraser out. The Hurricanes went 55-10 in 1992, winning their first two games in Omaha before being eliminated, ending his tenure.

"It's the dream of all coaches to have the opportunity to leave when things are going well," Fraser said.

Fraser was involved with many community and charity organizations after his retirement. Miami officials said he had three children and five grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.