HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss baseball coach Scott Berry announced Friday the hiring of Christian Ostrander as assistant coach for the Golden Eagle program.
“I'm extremely excited to have Coach Christian Ostrander and his family become a part of the Southern Miss family,” said Southern Miss baseball coach Scott Berry. “His experience at the collegiate level and his proven success to teach and develop young student-athletes both as men and players made this hire easy. The history he has in Mississippi, both as a player and as a coach, allows for us to strengthen our networking in the recruiting world.
“Christian is a humble man who exhibits tremendous character and integrity which is important to me and this program. He has an outstanding work ethic and passion that will radiate to both our current and future players.”
Ostrander replaces Michael Federico, who took the head coaching job at Louisiana-Monroe. Ostrander will serve as the team’s pitching coach.
He comes to Southern Miss after spending the last two seasons at Louisiana Team as their associate head coach and pitching coach. During those two years, the Bulldogs posted a 78-40 record and went to one NCAA Tournament.
Serving as the pitching coach for Louisiana Tech, Ostrander’s pitching staff shattered the record books leading the Bulldogs to 42 wins his initial season - the most for any LA Tech team since 1988.
Under the guidance of Ostrander, four Bulldog pitchers (Adam Atkins, Braden Bristo, Phillip Diehl and Nate Harris) were selected in the last two Major League Baseball First-Year Player Drafts.
In 2016 LA Tech’s pitching staff recorded a school-record 496 strikeouts, besting the previous school-record of 452 which was set twice. Of the 42 Bulldog wins, which ranked first in Conference USA, 10 wins were over top-25 schools and 11 wins were over top-50 RPI schools.
“It is a very humbling, exciting time for me on a personal level with baseball and what I have always thought of this program and Coach Berry, Coach Caillet and Coach Federico when he was here,” said Ostrander. “I have had a lot of respect for this program and familiarity because of my time spent down in south Mississippi. But more importantly, it has turned into a great excitement for my family and that is very important. They feel like that is home and so we are excited to get back.”
Prior to LA Tech, Ostrander spent seven years as the head coach at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville. In addition to his head coaching duties at JCJC, Ostrander oversaw the pitching staff in his time with the Bobcats.
Ostrander led the Bobcats to two MACJC state championships in 2011 and 2014 and helped guide Jones County to four division title in seven years. He also led JCJC to two 40-win seasons and set the school record for wins in a season on four different occasions. In seven seasons at Jones County, Ostrander compiled a 255-109 overall record with the Bobcats, good for a .701 winning percentage.
In 2015, Ostrander and the Bobcats put together a successful season with Jones County posting 30 wins with an appearance in the MACJC State Playoffs for the seventh consecutive season.
In 2014, JCJC enjoyed great success with a 46-11 record and a No. 6 ranking in the final NJCAA Division II poll. The 46 wins by the Bobcats matched the single-season record for victories in a season. The Bobcats were ranked No. 1 in the nation for most of the season and captured the 2014 state title at the end of the campaign. That season, JCJC led MACJC and Region 23 and were ranked seventh in the nation with a 2.92 team ERA.
Ostrander led the team to a second-place finish in the NJCAA Division II World Series in 2011. The 2011 Bobcats posted a 46-17 record, won the MACJC state championship and its first ever Region 23 title.
In his first season at JCJC, Ostrander led the Bobcats to a 36-16 overall record, a third-place finish in the MACJC South Division and a berth in the MACJC State Tournament. It marked the first time the Bobcats advanced to postseason play since winning a state title in 2002.
A year later, Ostrander led the Bobcats to their first-ever MACJC South Division regular season title, a 38-12 record and the host role in the MACJC State Tournament. Prior to his stint at Jones County, Ostrander previously served as recruiting coordinator and pitching coach at Arkansas State from 2002-06 and also led Gulfport High School to the Class 5A playoffs in two seasons as the head coach for the Admirals.
Ostrander also served the pitching coach, recruiting coordinator and camp coordinator at Delta State from 1999-2002.
DSU posted a 189-43 record during his four seasons, winning the Gulf South Conference West Division championship all four years and the South Regional championship in 2001 and 2002. In his final two seasons at Delta State, the Statesmen competed in the Division II College World Series in both 2001 and 2002.
He earned a bachelor's degree in education from Delta State in 1996 and his master's of education in administration from DSU in 1998. Ostrander has been a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association since 1998.
Ostrander is a native of Monroe, La. He and his wife, Amy, have two daughters, Caitlin and Allie.