Pete Ackerman, a longtime high school softball coach who spearheaded the Oaks Christian program and led it to more than 600 career wins, has died, athletic director Brad Cook confirmed Saturday. Ackerman was 77.
“She was a legend in the world of softball and made a difference in the lives of her players and the community,” said Brentwood athletic director Dana Vasquez, a former high school coach who spent years competing against Ackerman-coached teams. .
Born on August 12, 1945, Ackerman began coaching softball at Newbury Park High in 1994, then started the Oaks Christian program in 2001. He achieved Hall of Fame success, 651–148–1, according to CalHiSports.com. Last season, the Lions won the Southern California Division I Regional Championship and finished 34–1.
“This is definitely one of the top teams I’ve ever coached,” Ackermann said at the time.
Among her former players was UCLA softball standout Maya Brady, who helped the Lions win three Marmonte League titles. He also served as an officer in the Channel Coast Unit.
Ackerman became an invaluable behind-the-scenes worker for Oaks Christian in the athletic department, helping youth coaches.
“He touched so many lives,” said Cook, who will take over as Oaks Christian athletic director in 2021. “He was the backbone of the school. He was a pillar of the athletic department.
Cook said Ackerman went into surgery and reported feeling well in a text he sent to Cook from his hospital bed earlier this week. He died on Saturday morning.
“I always respected him as a coach. He was a true competitor who made life difficult for his opponents,” said Vasquez, who coached against Ackerman at Woodland Hills Louisville and Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.
Ackerman is survived by his wife, Carol. Funeral arrangements are pending.