Wingate names ex-Panther star baseball coach

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 29, 2007

WINGATE, N.C. — When Allen Osborne played baseball at Marshall University, the football team had a motto, “We play for championships.”

Osborne is taking that mentality with him to Wingate University after being named the head baseball coach Monday.

“We want to play for the South Atlantic Conference championship every year. We want to play for championships every year,” said Osborne, who was a hitting and catching instructor and third base coach at Memphis last season.

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Memphis was 36-27 last season and made its first NCAA Regional Tournament appearance for the first time since 1994.

“Allen Osborne possesses a tireless work ethic,” said Memphis coach Darren Schoenrock. “He will build great relationships with people on campus and in the community.

“I was honored to have Allen involved in our program at Memphis. He did a tremendous job with each of his responsibilities.”

A 1996 graduate of Marshall, Osborne was an outstanding high school catcher for the Chesapeake Panthers. He also was a starting guard on the basketball team.

When his playing career ended, Osborne took a job as graduate assistant coach at Georgia in 1997-98. He also served one year as an assistant at Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla., as Chipola went 45-11 in 1999.

He returned to Georgia in 2002 when the Bulldogs qualified for back-to-back regionals for the first time in school history.

Osborne served as the head coach for the Cortland Apples in the Northeastern Collegiate summer league from 1998-200, winning the Eastern Division championship twice.

As a player, Osborne earned Southern Conference Freshman of the Year honors and he was also All-Southern Conference.

Osborne said he wants the players to have the same kind of experiences he enjoyed as a player.

“Our players will have fun playing the game of baseball. They will play fundamentally sound baseball,” said Osborne.

Wingate vice-president and director of athletics Steve Poston was impressed with Osborne’s credentials.

“Allen Osborne is a baseball man,” Poston said. “He brings energy and passion to his sport. His connections to our area will help us recruit the talent necessary to continue our strong baseball tradition.”

Osborne said the private college had a lot of great qualities to offer.

“The beauty of the school is one of the first tings that caught my eye,” Osborne said. “The support of the administration is very evident. North Carolina is a great baseball state. We will have the ability to grow as a baseball program.”

Osborne is married to the former Janey Wheeler. The couple have a daughter, one-year-old Ellason Grace.