Steve Owens named Head Coach at Bryant University

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

Steve Owens Headshot SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bryant University Director of Athletics Bill Smith is pleased to announce the hiring of two-time MAAC Coach of the Year Steve Owens as the next head coach of the Bulldog baseball program.

Owens comes to Bryant from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., where he led the Dolphins to 11-straight winning seasons in as many years. Owens boasts a career record of 587-299-1 (.662), averaging nearly 31 wins per season, while his leadership has led to 27 players signing professional contracts.

“I would like to thank Bryant University for the opportunity to be its next head baseball coach,” said Owens. “It is very clear to me that the leadership and plan for excellence at Bryant University matches both the immediate and long-term goals that I have for the baseball program. I very much look forward to meeting and working with my players. In addition, I am excited to establish relationships with my colleagues and integrate my family into both the campus and community.”

In his time at the helm of the Dolphin program, Owens led his team to four MAAC regular-season titles and reached a career landmark in 2007, becoming one of the youngest coaches in the nation to reach the 500-win plateau. Entering the 2010 season, he owned the 13th-highest career winning percentage among all active Division I coaches and leaves Le Moyne with a 342-217 record at the school.

Owens also brings a long list of accolades to Smithfield. The 2004 and 2006 MAAC Coach of the Year, he has been named the conference Coach of the Year seven times, ABCA NCAA Regional Coach of the Year on five occasions and is a 10-time recipient of the Louisville Slugger Coaching Award.

“The entire Bryant community is extremely excited that Steve has decided to become a part of the Bulldog family,” said Smith. “We are confident in the proven abilities of Coach Owens. Based on the results he has produced over his distinguished career, we know he will be able to take over the Bulldog baseball program and lead the team to continued success both within the Northeast Conference and as we complete our journey to full Division I membership.”

Over a 19-year career at both Le Moyne and Division III Cortland State, Owens has guided 13 teams to 30-win seasons, and his clubs have made 15 postseason appearances, including three NCAA DI tournament berths. Owens also guided Cortland to seven NCAA DIII regional tournaments and four trips to the College World Series.

Owens has also lofted his players to new individual heights, coaching 13 All-American selections, two Freshman All-America picks, 32 All-MAAC selections, 16 all-region nods and three Academic All-Americans.

Owens takes over a Bryant team that went 34-22 in just its second Division I season, winning the 2010 Northeast Conference regular-season title with a 25-7 league mark. The Bulldogs will become full members of the DI Northeast Conference and become NCAA-tournament eligible in 2012-13.

A native of Sauquoit, N.Y., Owens is a 1987 graduate of St. Lawrence, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Leisure Studies and was a four-year starter on the diamond. While playing at St. Lawrence, he was named a two-time MVP and earned All-ECAC selections at both third base and shortstop. Owens finished his career with a .349 batting average and will be inducted into the St. Lawrence Athletic Hall of Fame in the fall of 2010.

Drafted by the Chicago Cubs, Owens spent two seasons with the organization, including stints in Geneva in the New York-Penn League and with the Charleston (W.Va.) Cubs.

Owens, 44, and his wife, Catharine, have three children, Jack, Sam and Jane.