Back in the Swing
Former Bradley infielder and baseball coach Ron Maestri ’63 MA ’67 shown during his first stint as head baseball coach at the University of New Orleans. The school again named him head baseball coach last summer. He was UNO athletic director from 1979–2000 and coached baseball there from 1972–85. At Bradley, Ron also played football and coached three sports. Photo by University of New Orleans.
The past was prologue for the University of New Orleans when it named Ron Maestri ’63 MA ’67 its new head baseball coach in July. Ron coached the Privateers from 1972–85 and served as the school’s director of athletics from 1979–2000. In his first stint as coach, the team never had a losing season, set the school record for victories and winning percentage, and qualified nine times to play in the NCAA Tournament.
“I feel a great sense of responsibility, and I am ready to face the challenge,” he commented.
After stepping down as AD, Ron worked for the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, where he was executive director of the 2000 New Orleans Bowl, the 2002 NCAA women’s volleyball Final Four, the 2003 NCAA men’s basketball Final Four, and the 2004 NCAA women’s basketball Final Four. Most recently, he served as an executive with the minor league New Orleans Zephyrs baseball team for more than eight years.
His successful career as an athlete, coach, and administrator earned him a spot in eight halls of fame: New Orleans Sports, American Baseball Coaches Association, University of New Orleans Sports, Louisiana American-Italian Sports, Louisiana Sports, Bradley Athletics, Greater Peoria Sports, and Highwood High School Sports.
After playing baseball and football on the Hilltop, Ron was an assistant coach in baseball, football, and basketball at Bradley and coached at the high school level before going to Louisiana. He was named Distinguished Alumnus in 2006 and inducted into the Centurion Society the same year. Ron and his wife, Sue, have two children and live in Metairie, La.
Jan Cohen Kepple ’71 was named the 2013 Distinguished Alumna by Bradley’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in October. A mathematics major, Jan has worked in banking for more than 40 years. She has been honored by the Heart of Illinois United Way for her years volunteering with the organization. Jan and her husband, Gene, have two sons and live in Tremont, Ill.