NEWS AND TRIBUNE
Bellarmine University director of athletics Scott Wiegandt announced today that Larry Owens has been hired as the Knights’ new baseball coach.
Owens, a Jeffersonville High School graduate and a former Bellarmine player, is currently a coach with the Chicago White Sox organization.
“Larry Owens is uniquely qualified for the Bellarmine baseball head coaching position,” Wiegandt said in a statement. “I have every confidence that Larry will provide the stability and leadership our baseball team needs to compete at a national level.”
Owens played at Bellarmine for one season before transferring to Vincennes University, where he earned an associate’s degree. He then moved on to Armstrong Atlantic State University for his final two seasons of baseball while earning his bachelor’s degree.
A left-handed pitcher, Owens was an NCAA Division II honorable mention All-America selection in 1990. That same year, he was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 27th round of Major League Baseball’s amateur draft.
After playing professionally for a year, Owens returned to his native Jeffersonville and embarked on his coaching career, which began as the freshman baseball coach for Jeffersonville High School in 1992.
Over the next 21 years, he has built a resume that includes serving as a scout for the Boston Red Sox and coaching at the NCAA Division I level for Louisville, Memphis, Austin Peay and Missouri State as well as considerable experience at the professional level.
Since 2007, Owens has coached in the Chicago White Sox organization, including four years as the pitching coach of the Kannapolis Intimidators and the past three years for the Bristol White Sox.
“My family and I are extremely excited and we want to thank Dr. Joseph J. McGowan, Dr. Fred W. Rhodes, and Mr. Scott Wiegandt for the amazing opportunity they have given me,” Owens said in a statement. “Bellarmine University’s and the athletic department’s vision is undeniably focused and clear. I am happy to be a part of that vision and cannot wait to begin preparation for the 2014 season and for the many years that follow.
“Everyone from within the Chicago White Sox organization has been extremely good to me personally and professionally. I want to publicly thank them for the opportunity they gave me. I could not be more grateful.”
Owens takes over the head coaching job that was vacated when Matt Tyner resigned to accept a coaching position with the University of Richmond.
Owens will finish the season with the White Sox and officially begin his Bellarmine duties on Sept. 1.
• Owens and Wiegandt (both left-handed pitchers) were teammates on the 1986-87 Bellarmine baseball team. Owens (a freshman) and Wiegandt (a sophomore) were part of a six-man starting pitching rotation.
• Owens becomes the third member of that starting rotation to become a full-time Bellarmine employee — Dr. David Porta, who also was a member of that pitching rotation, is a professor of biology at Bellarmine.
• After Owens transferred to Armstrong Atlantic State, Wiegandt and Owens were the opposing starting pitchers in an NCAA regional game in 1989. (Armstrong Atlantic won the game 9-5, but Wiegandt went 3-for-5 with two doubles at the plate against Owens.)