Larry Owens – Head Coach, Baseball – Baseball Coaches
Larry Owens was hired as Bellarmine University’s baseball head coach in September 2013.
Owens will enter his ninth season at Bellarmine in 2022.
The 2021 season marked Bellarmine’s first in Division I and the ASUN Conference. The Knights won three All-Conference awards, and after the year senior right-hander Deylen Miley signed a free agent contract with the Houston Astros.
Prior to Bellarmine’s rise to the DI, Owens set a 188-146 overall record and a 104-82 Great Lakes Valley Conference record in seven seasons in the DII. He led the Knights to the GLVC Tournament title in 2019 as well as three consecutive NCAA II Tournaments from 2017 to 2019. His 2018 team amassed a program record 38 wins, the second of three consecutive campaigns with at least 34 wins. The Knights have produced five DII All-Americans (Austin Crutcher, Matt Higgins, Chris Gambert, Alex Phillips, Zac Wiley), two GLVC Player of the Year recipients (Crutcher, Wiley), and two GLVC Pitcher of the Year recipients (Hunter Spencer, Eddie Mathis) under Owens with two Major League Baseball draft picks (Michael Messier and Brandon Pfaadt).
The 2020 season marked Bellarmine’s final year in DII, and it was canceled at first due to the coronavirus. Ranked No. 17 in the preseason by the NCBWA, the Knights were 10-4 overall and 3-0 in the GLVC after sweeping perennial conference powerhouse Quincy when the rest of the season was down. canceled. Junior right-hander Brandon Pfaadt became the second-highest MLB draft selection in program history after being chosen in the fifth round by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In 2019, Owens led Bellarmine to a GLVC Tournament title and a record third straight appearance in the NCAA II Tournament. The Knights also set new program records by winning at least 34 games for the third consecutive season and having four All-Americans in Wiley, Higgins, Gambert and Phillips. Wiley was named GLVC Player of the Year and selected Midwest Region Player of the Year by the Division II Conference Commissioners Association and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Bellarmine finished 34-21 overall and led the GLVC in a host of offensive categories, including batting average (.322) and home runs (77).
The 2018 campaign was historic. Bellarmine won a program record 38 games, tying and breaking the record on the same day at the GLVC tournament. The Knights received their second consecutive NCAA II Tournament bid and earned the double seed in the NCAA Midwest Region. In the regional, they recorded a 6-1 win over No. 16 Northwood. During the regular season, Bellarmine moved up to 17th in the national rankings. The Knights finished second in the GLVC East with a conference mark of 16-8 and had a program-record nine All-GLVC selections while Mathis was named GLVC Pitcher of the Year.
In 2017, Owens led Bellarmine to his first NCAA II Tournament berth since 2013. The Knights received their first overall offer in the big dance since 2008. Bellarmine’s 34 wins were just two shy of the league record. program. The Knights finished second in the GLVC East with a 20-8 record and earned a third consecutive GLVC Tournament bid.
Bellarmine won his second straight trip to the GLVC Tournament in 2016. The Knights finished 15-11 in the league and claimed third place in the GLVC East. In the conference tournament, Bellarmine defeated No. 18 Quincy in the first round. Under Owens’ tutelage, Spencer was named GLVC Pitcher of the Year one season after pitching 9.0 total innings.
In 2015, Owens led Bellarmine to 28 total wins, a nine-game improvement from 2014. He guided the Knights to 20 wins in the GLVC, double what BU had recorded the previous season. Bellarmine earned a trip to the conference tournament after finishing third in GLVC East. Crutcher was named GLVC Player of the Year and an Honorable Mention All-American by the NCBWA.
Owens joined the Knights after working the previous seven seasons as a minor league pitching coach in the Chicago White Sox organization with the Kannapolis Intimidators (2007-10) of the South Atlantic League and the Bristol Sox (2011-13) of the Appalachian League.
Prior to his stint with the White Sox, Owens was a zone scout for the Boston Red Sox (2006) and pitching coach for the San Diego Surf Dawgs of the Independent Professional Baseball League (2005), which won a championship. of the Golden League and were led by former Major League All-Star receiver Terry Kennedy. Owens was part of a team that included future MLB Hall of Fame outfielder Rickey Henderson, who is often considered the best point guard in history and played that summer for the Surf Dawgs.
Prior to his nine years of professional baseball service, Owens coached college baseball for 11 years, nine of which were spent at Division I institutions. He worked at the University of Memphis from 2001 to 2004 under former big leaguer Dave Anderson, who also coached in the minor leagues and coached in the majors. Owens spent two seasons each as a pitching coach at the University of Louisville (1996-97) and Austin Peay State University (1999-00). He also coached at Missouri State University and Wabash Valley College.
Owens is also no stranger to the college baseball summer circuit. He was the pitching coach for the Falmouth Commodores (1997) of the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League and prior to that spent three summers with the Rochester Honkers as pitching coach in 1994-95 and manager in 1996.
Owens’ prep career was spent near Bellarmine at Jeffersonville High School in Indiana. Playing for Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame coach Don Poole, Owens earned all-state honorable mention status as a senior and played in the annual North/South All-Star Game Series. He was also a member of Team Indiana, which won a round robin tournament against Team Illinois, Team California and Team Wisconsin at Milwaukee County Stadium, the former home of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Following his high school career, Owens played at Bellarmine for one season and was teammates with current Bellarmine athletic director Scott Wiegandt. He then transferred to the University of Vincennes, where he earned his associate’s degree and played for Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame coach Jerry Blemker. Owens played his final two seasons of college baseball at Armstrong Atlantic State University and was a member of the 1989 team that qualified for the Division II World Series.
After his senior season, Owens was a 27th round draft pick of the Atlanta Braves. He played briefly for the Pulaski Braves in the Appalachian League before beginning his coaching career.
Owens and his wife Kelley reside in Jeffersonville and have four children: McKenna, Dawson, Grayson and Easton.