Larry Owens returns for his third season as an assistant for the Tigers. Owens serves as the Tigers' pitching coach and leads Memphis' efforts on the recruiting trail.
Owens gets an optimistic smile when he talks about the arms he will work with for the Tigers in 2003. The pitching coach has a wealth of strong arms on the squad and finding three suitable pitchers to fill out the weekend rotation should come easier this season than in season's past.
A native of Jeffersonville, Ind., Owens started his collegiate career at Bellarmine College in Lousville, Ky., then transferred to Vincennes (Indiana) University. Before his whirlwind tour as vagabond lefthander came to an end, Owens spent two strong seasons at Armstrong State where he helped the Pirates finish two-consecutive seasons ranked No. 1 among Division II teams. Owens was named a Division II all-American honorable mention after going 7-0 with a 2.88 ERA as a senior.
He was picked in the 27th round of the 1990 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft by the Atlanta Braves and played one season in Pulaski before switching to the coaching ranks in 1992.
Since making that decision, Owens has advanced from one quality job to the next, improving his position with every step along the way.
His first stop was at Wabash Valley Junior College, where he worked with pitchers from 1994-95. Next, Owens landed at Southwest Missouri for a season before he accepted an assistant job at Louisville for the 1996-97 season. Prior to taking the job at Memphis, Owens spent two seasons at Austin Peay before joining Dave Anderson's staff with the Tigers in 2000. All told, Owens has collected 13 years of collegiate experience, all of which are of great benefit to the Tiger program.
Owens also spent four summers during the 90s coaching in Collegiate Summer Leagues. He served as a pitching coach at Rochester in the summers of 1994 and 1995. His 1994 Rochester Honkers won the Northwoods League title. In 1996, the Honkers finished second when he was the field manager. In 1997, he was the pitching coach for the Falmouth Commodores in the Cape Cod League. Current New York Yankee starting pitcher Jeff Weaver was on that team. Weaver is just one of 22 pitchers that Owens has instructed that have gone on to play professional baseball.