Federico takes over as ULM coach

Published 8:23 am Friday, July 7, 2017

Michael Federico is leaving the Golden Eagles’ nest to fly on his own.

Federico, Southern Miss’ longtime pitching coach, was introduced Thursday as the new head baseball coach at Louisiana-Monroe. The Louisiana native was hired last week and introduced Thursday at a packed press conference in ULM’s library.

He’s the 12th head coach in the program’s history. The Warhawks finished 12-43 last season and have not had a winning season since going 32-30 in 2012.

Despite that lack of championship pedigree, Federico was determined Thursday that the program can be a consistent winner in the Sun Belt Conference and beyond.

“Plain and simple, we’ve got to win championships. That’s what we’re going to start working on,” Federico said during the press conference. “We’re going to win in the classroom, we’re going to win on the field, and we’re going to win in the community. That’s my passion. We know we’re going to have to be a blue collar type program. We don’t have some of the other things that other people have but, hey, a lot of people don’t. You can still be successful and you can win and you can have an enjoyable, pleasurable experience for those student athletes.”

Federico has deep roots in the Gulf Coast region. He was born and raised in Slidell, Louisiana, played college baseball at Hinds Community College and Southern Miss, and later served as an assistant coach at Memphis and USM.

He was also the head coach at Meridian Community College from 2000-04 and led the team to two appearances in the NJCAA Division II World Series. He also played in two NJCAA World Series during his time at Hinds.

Federico’s biggest success as a Division I assistant came at Southern Miss. He was the 2015 Conference USA Assistant Coach of the Year when his pitching staff posted 10 shutouts and led the league with a 3.14 ERA.
Federico spent nine seasons at Southern Miss in all, including the last eight as the pitching coach. The Golden Eagles have led Conference USA in earned run average two of the past three seasons, and set a school record this season by winning 50 games.

It’s the same kind of success he envisions for Louisiana-Monroe, a school with a similar profile to Southern Miss as a small Division I program in a state where Southeastern Conference rivals often dominate the battle for recruits and fans.

“It’s been proven here, and I know it can happen again, and there’s basically one goal that I’ll have and that’s to work every day to constantly try to be going to Omaha,” Federico said. “Ultimately, that’s the goal every college baseball team is trying to get to. If you can get into that regional, you have a chance. It’s been proven that the smaller teams, like us, it can happen.”

Federico also espoused another major goal on Thursday — turning his players into top-notch students and leaders, as well as baseball players.

“My vision for the Louisiana-Monroe baseball program is kind of simple,” Federico said. “I want to shape the young men that we’re coaching into being productive citizens, so that when they leave here they can contribute to society in a positive way whether they’re playing in the big leagues or working in the local mill.”

While Federico was settling in over in Monroe, Southern Miss was working hard in Hattiesburg to find his replacement.

The Biloxi Sun Herald on Thursday reported that Louisiana Tech pitching coach Christian Ostrander will take the same position at Southern Miss.

USM has not yet announced the hire, but the Sun Herald reported that Louisiana Tech coach Lane Burroughs has confirmed that Ostrander is leaving to take the job in Hattiesburg.

Ostrander was the head coach at Jones County Junior College for seven seasons, and Gulfport High in 2007 and 2008 before being hired at Louisiana Tech.

A Monroe, Louisiana, native, Ostrander has also coached at his alma mater Delta State and Arkansas State.
At Louisiana Tech, Ostranders’ pitching staff had an ERA of 4.44 last season.

As a team, the Bulldogs struck out 413 batters against 167 walks in 498 2/3 innings.

The team’s ace, Nate Harris, was also named an All-American by Collegiate Baseball. Harris led Conference USA in wins (8), saves (8), ERA (1.75), complete games (3) and WHIP (0.90), among other statistics.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured sports reporters in the paper's 137-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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