Watson Named Head Baseball Coach
Sept. 24, 2004
NACOGDOCHES, Texas-- Stephen F. Austin State University athletics director Steve McCarty announced today that Donnie Watson has been tabbed to lead the return of intercollegiate baseball at the university. Watson will serve as head coach of the program which is set to return to play in 2006.
"After a thorough search of a field of more than 100 candidates, it gives me great pleasure to announce that Donnie Watson will lead the Lumberjack baseball program as it returns to the field in the spring of 2006. Donnie impressed us with his knowledge of the game, his enthusiasm and his plans to bring baseball back at SFA," said McCarty.
Watson most recently served as an assistant coach at TCU, spending 11 seasons with the Horned Frogs from 1993-2003. Watson was the assistant head coach, baseball operations manager and recruiting coordinator at TCU in 2003 when he helped guide the Frogs to a 35-17 record, the third most wins in TCU history. He served as both the hitting and pitching coach for the Horned Frogs and set pitching records at the school in the metal bat era and his teams also hold every school record for offense.
One of the top pitching instructors in the country, Watson has spent the past year as an instructor at baseball camps conducted by the National Pitching Association. He was the first instructor to be awarded an entire state to oversee when he was named the director of the state of Texas by NPA. Major League Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan is one of many who believe Watson is one of the top pitching teachers in the country. "Donnie is a great pitching coach and a great leader. I know from personal experience that any young pitcher that is focused on being their best will benefit from working with Donnie." Ryan's sons, Reid and Reese played for Watson at TCU.
The Dallas native has also recruited some recognizable names in college and major league baseball. Included among that group is current Chicago Cubs all-star pitcher Kerry Wood, Matt Howe, son of New York Mets manager Art Howe, Eric Garner, son of current Astros manager Phil Garner, and three freshmen All-America selections- Shelby Ford, German Duran, and Chad Huffman.
As a player, Watson was an all-region and all-conference pitcher and designated hitter at the University of Dallas and was inducted into the UD Hall of Fame in February, 2002. He also won a state title as a coach at Southlake Carroll in 1982.
Watson will spend the next several months laying the ground work for the return of intercollegiate baseball at SFA, set for spring 2006.
Watson's new position is pending the approval of the SFA Board of Regents in October. TM