Rudy Abbott

Inducted Year in 2005

Abbott began a long history of athletic accomplishments at Walter Wellborn High School where he lettered in baseball, basketball, football and track before graduating in 1959. After two years at Jones Junior College in Mississippi, Abbott returned to Alabama as a pitcher at Jacksonville State. In 1962, his first season at JSU, Abbott threw two no-hitters and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1964, Abbott came back to Jacksonville State as sports information director.

In 1970, Jacksonville State baseball coach Ray Wedgeworth became ill and Abbott agreed to take the position on a temporary basis. When he retired in 2001 after 32 seasons his career record was 1,003-467.

His 1990 and 1991 Jacksonville State baseball teams were NCAA Division II national champions and Abbott was named Division II coach of the year both seasons. Seven of his Jacksonville State baseball teams advanced to the NCAA Division II World Series.

Over Abbott’s 32 seasons, 24 Jacksonville State players were named All-Americans and more than 75 played professionally after their JSU careers ended. The 1979 Jacksonville State team opened its season 29-0, an NCAA record. Seven times during Abbott’s career JSU baseball teams won 40 games or more. Five Abbott coached teams were Gulf South Conference champions. Abbott was named Gulf South Conference coach of the year seven times.

Abbott was inducted into the Jacksonville State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001, the first year he was eligible for inclusion. He is a 2005 inductee of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.