Awards and recognition for his exemplary service to college athletics and the NAIA continue to come Gary Picone’s way with his selection into the NAIA Hall of Fame for Meritorious Service. Earlier this year, he was honored with the NAIA Championship Legacy Award for his efforts in elevating the NAIA and its championship events.
“Gary is an excellent leader who always put our student-athletes first and led the LCSC athletic department to some of its greatest successes,” LCSC president Tony Fernández said.
A native of Trail, British Columbia, Picone has been a mainstay on the campus of Lewis-Clark State College in a variety of roles throughout his storied career. Picone first came to Lewiston in 1972 as an outfielder on the Warriors’ baseball team, and after a three-year playing career he joined the baseball coaching staff as a student assistant. He also served as the Warriors’ pitching coach from 1983-1989 under NAIA Hall of Fame coach Ed Cheff.
In 1991, Picone began his first stint as the Lewis-Clark State College Director of Athletics and was instrumental in bringing the NAIA World Series back to Lewiston. The Series was held on the campus of LC State for an eight-year period from 1984-1991 before moving to several different cities through the 1999 season, but Picone engineered a plan for the World Series to return to Lewiston where Lewis-Clark State College hosted its 18th consecutive World Series in 2017. Based on his leadership, vision and dedication to integrating the Lewiston community into the event, Picone has cemented the Baseball World Series as one of the most successful NAIA National Championships year after year.
Picone entered his second term as Director of Athletics in 2006, where he created a culture of excitement on the LC State campus and Lewiston community while spearheading the fundraising efforts for numerous facility enhancements and improvements. He headed the growth of the Lewis-Clark State College athletics programs, expanding from six sports and 85 student-athletes to its current level of 12 sports and over 200 student-athletes. Under his guidance, Warriors teams regularly compete at a highly successful level in both the Frontier Conference and in NAIA National Championship competition.
In addition to his work at Lewis-Clark State College, Picone has devoted many years of service to the NAIA as a member of the National Administrative Council, as well as countless other tasks forces and committees. Picone is a true ambassador of the NAIA and has helped shape Lewis-Clark State College into the forefront of the Frontier Conference and the NAIA.
Picone retired from Lews-Clark State in June. (Lewis-Clark State College)