Eric Owens to lead Ferrum College baseball

FERRUM, Va. – Director of Athletics Cleive Adams will announce at a press conference Friday, June 28 10 a.m., the hiring of Eric Owens as Head Baseball Coach at Ferrum College.

Owens’ plethora of coaching experience at the highest levels, include stops A, AA, AAA, and in the Major League. During his time as the Assistant Hitting Coach with the Toronto Blue Jays, Owens helped contribute to the Blue Jays making back-to-back American League Championship appearances. He coached 2015 American League (AL) Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson, who also won the AL Hank Aaron Award, and a two time AL Silver Slugger (2015, 2016).

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During his time as a Panther, Owens played baseball three years at Ferrum from 1989-92, as well as football in 1990 and 1991. A two-time All-America first team selection in baseball, he was the 1992 NCAA Division III Player of the Year after batting .402 with seven doubles, three triples, four home runs and 23 RBI. He is Ferrum’s first and only NCAA Player of the Year, in any sport.

“It’s an honor to be able to come full circle and back home to Ferrum College,” said Owens. “I look forward to working together to build a championship caliber team for the baseball program.”

Owens’ 1991 honors include first team All-All-America, first team All-Region and first team All-Conference in the Dixie Conference. He then earned first team All-America, first team All-Region, first team All-Conference, Dixie Conference Player of the Year and NCAA Division III Player of the Year in 1992.

“Bringing Eric back to Ferrum is exciting, especially right now as we embark on our journey to the NCAA Division II ranks,” said Adams. “Eric embodies everything we want in someone who will lead young men on the field and to help prepare them for life after Ferrum.”

Owens helped the Panthers reach the NCAA Div. III playoffs in 1990, 1991 and 1992, including South Regional runner-up finishes in 1991 and 1992. Ferrum’s overall win-loss record during the three years at Ferrum was 94-22. During his final year in 1992, Ferrum opened the season with a 25-0 mark, reaching as high as a #2 national ranking, before finishing with a 34-5 overall record. Owens left Ferrum with seven school records, including career marks for batting average (.430), stolen bases (68) and triples (18). 

Owens was chosen in the fourth round of the 1992 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft by the Cincinnati Reds, initially being assigned to the Billings Mustangs of the Pioneer League. He spent the 1993 season with the Class A Winston-Salem Spirits in the Carolina League. Owens moved up in 1994 to the Class AA Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern League. In 1995, Owens was with the AAA Indianapolis Indians, where he was named American Association Most Valuable Player. Owens made his MLB debut with the Reds June 1995, spending three seasons in Ohio before moving to the Milwaukee Brewers for the 1998 season. He then played for the San Diego Padres from 1999-2000, Florida Marlins in 2001-02 and Anaheim Angels in 2003. Owens made his final MLB appearance in September 2003 with the Angels. For his MLB career, Owens batted .264 with 26 home runs and 214 RBI.

Owens begins work at Ferrum officially on July 8.

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