JOLIET – Joe Maddon, the manager who helped the Chicago Cubs organization break its 108-year World Series drought in 2016, will be the guest speaker at University of St. Francis’ 44th annual Brown & Gold Night. The event will take place Feb. 13 at the Pat Sullivan Center on the USF campus.
A three-time Manager of the Year, Maddon has worked with two other organizations besides the Cubs. Most recently, he was with the Los Angeles Angels, where he has had two tours of duty, while getting his first full-time managerial opportunity with the Tampa Bay Rays.
In all, Maddon has managed at the major league level in 19 of his 45-plus years in professional baseball. During that time, he has amassed 1,382 victories, which ranks 32nd all time, including 32 career postseason wins, ninth most in history.
Maddon also has been responsible for two of the best turnarounds in MLB history with the 2008 Rays and 2015 Cubs. The Rays went from being the worst team in baseball – a 66-96 record in 2007 – to going 97-65 and winning the 2008 American League pennant. The Cubs also went 97-65 in Maddon’s first year at the helm after the team went 73-89 in 2014. A year later, the Cubs captured their first World Series title since 1908, going 103-58-1. It marked the most wins in a season for the organization since 1910, when that team posted 104 victories.
Maddon will be the second member of the Cubs World Series championship team to speak at USF’s Brown & Gold Night. Former catcher David Ross spoke in January 2017, right after the series win.
Maddon also joins Ross in having written a book, which came out this fall. Co-authored with award-winning sportswriter Tom Verducci, “The Book of Joe” is a memoir of Maddon’s journey in life and baseball.
Maddon is yet another in the long list of sports celebrities to speak at USF’s Brown & Gold Night, one that has featured 17 Hall of Fame inductees. Among the list have been John Wooden, Al McGuire and Ray Meyer in basketball; Dick Butkus, Mike Ditka, Dan Hampton, Brian Urlacher, Paul Hornung and Bart Starr from football; and Fergie Jenkins and Frank Thomas from on the diamond. Others have included Iowa wrestling coach Dan Gable and Blackhawks forward Denis Savard, as well as USF’s Gordie Gillespie, one of college baseball’s all-time winningest coaches.
The annual fundraiser begins with a cash bar at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and the program at 8 p.m. The event also will include both a silent and live auction. No autograph requests will be granted the night of the event.
Tickets are available for $65 each or a table of 10 for $650. Corporate sponsorships are available. For information, contact the USF Athletic Department at 815-740-3842 or www.gofightingsaints.com.