A familiar face takes over at the helm of the Southern Miss baseball program for 2010 as Scott Berry was promoted to the head coaching position in May of 2009. Berry replaces Corky Palmer, who announced his retirement as the Golden Eagle coach last season after 12 seasons leading the Southern Miss baseball team.
Berry has been Palmer’s right-hand man for the last nine seasons at Southern Miss, and it is no coincidence that the school is in the midst of the most successful run in school history advancing to seven consecutive NCAA regionals, while winning the 2009 Atlanta Regional and Gainesville Super Regional to advance to the 2009 College World Series.
Berry came to Southern Miss prior to the 2001 season. Since he joined the staff, the Golden Eagles have garnered a 356-204 (.636) record while advancing to NCAA postseason play seven times. The team also won the Conference USA Championship in 2003.
In his tenure at Southern Miss, Berry’s main responsibility has been working with the pitching staff, mentoring four pitchers to seven All-American honors, including at least one All-American in four consecutive years from 2003-06. He has also coached three pitchers to freshmen All-American honors and saw 13 pitchers drafted into professional baseball.
Prior to joining the Southern Miss staff in 2001, he was the head coach at Meridian Community College where he amassed a 186-57 mark. In his four years as the head coach at MCC, Berry guided the Eagles to the NJCAA World Series twice, won the Region 23 Championship three times and captured the Mississippi/Louisiana Championship all four years.
Berry was named the Regional Coach of the Year three times (1997, 1998 and 2000), District Coach of the Year twice (1998 and 2000), while earning the Diamond Sports ABCA Region Coach of the Year in 1998 and the Louisville Slugger Coaching Award two times in 1997 and 1998.
At Meridian, he coached 30 players who signed to play Division I baseball and had 10 players selected in the major league draft, including 2008 American League Cy Young Award winner, Cliff Lee, then with Cleveland Indians, who played for Berry in 1999 and 2000.
Lee is one of four current major leaguers who played under Berry including Baltimore Orioles pitcher Bob McCrory (Southern Miss), Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brent Leach (Southern Miss) and Houston Astros infielder Jason Smith (Meridian CC).
Berry, a native of Neosho, Mo., played two seasons collegiately at Crowder College, where he was a two-time all-region selection and the team’s most valuable player his sophomore season. A back injury forced his career to come to an end prematurely, but Berry spent the final two season of his college career as a student assistant coach at Southwest Missouri State where he earned both his bachelors and masters degree.
He and his wife Laura have two children, Garren (15) and Kathryn Grace (6). Laura received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern Miss in speech communication. He is the son of Marliyn Berry and the late James Berry.
HATTIESBURG - The Scott Berry Era of the Southern Miss baseball program will open with a No. 21 preseason ranking, release today by Collegiate Baseball Magazine in their annual top 40 preseason poll.
Opponents on the Golden Eagles 2010 schedule can also be seen throughout the polls.
The Golden Eagles hold the No. 21 national ranking and out performed despised, in-state rival, Ole Miss.
Conference USA garnered a lot of respect. Conference foes Rice and East Carolina were ranked at 11 and 18 respectively, while UCF, Houston and Tulane were listed in the "also received votes" category.
LSU is the only other team ranked in the top 40 on the Golden Eagles 2010 schedule with a No. 2 national ranking; however, Missouri State, Mississippi State and Troy all received votes.
The Golden Eagles open the 2010 season on February 19 at Pete Taylor Park.
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