USM adds Ostrander as pitching coach

Published 7:35 pm Friday, July 7, 2017

HATTIESBURG — Southern Miss filled the hole in its baseball coaching staff by plucking one from that of a conference rival.

Southern Miss announced Friday that it has hired Louisiana Tech assistant Christian Ostrander to be its new pitching coach. Ostrander will replace Michael Federico, who left USM to become the head coach at Louisiana-Monroe.

“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 (Scott) Berry, Coach (Chad) Caillet and Coach Federico when he was here,” Ostrander said in a release. “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.”

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Ostrander was at Louisiana Tech for two seasons as the pitching coach and associate head coach. His pitching staff in 2016 recorded a school-record 496 strikeouts as the team won 42 games.

Ostrander’s move to Southern Miss marks a return to his Mississippi roots. He was born in Monroe, Louisiana, but played at Delta State and then spent three years there as an assistant coach from 1999-2002.

Ostrander was also the head coach at Jones County Junior College from 2007-15, and at Gulfport High School from 2002-06.

Berry said in a release that Ostrander’s ties to the state are a major asset.

“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,” Berry said. “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.”