The 2009 NCAA Division I College World Series may be a first for the University of Southern Mississippi baseball team but it won’t be the first College World Series for USM coach Corky Palmer.
Coach Palmer guided the Meridian Community College Eagles to three NJCAA World Series appearances during his time at Meridian. During his time at Meridian he was named NJCAA National Coach of the Year two times while winning over 400 games at MCC.
Palmer isn’t the only former MCC Eagle headed to Omaha for the College World Series this year, he is just one of seven College World Series coaches or players that strong connections with MCC baseball.
USM soon-to-be head coach, Scott Berry, who guided the MCC Eagles to two NJCAA World Series appearances during the 1990’s, will be making the trip along with former MCC head coach and current USM assistant, Chad Caillet.
Golden Eagle players, Tyler Koeling and Wade Weathers also played for MCC.
Koeling played for MCC coach Chris Rose in 2008 earning All-American, all-state and all-region honors while hitting .348 with 12 home runs and 43 RBI in leading MCC to the MACJC State Championship.
Weathers also played for MCC coach Chris Rose and earned first team all-state in 2007, he was 11-1 with 88 strikeouts and a 2.53 ERA in 66 innings as a sophomore at MCC and was 5-1 with 49 strikeouts and a 2.42 ERA as a freshman.
The Arkansas Razorbacks of the Southeastern Conference are going to Omaha and so is former MCC catcher Chris Curry. Curry serves as an assistant coach for the Razorbacks, he spent two years at MCC as a standout catcher before attending Mississippi State University where he led Southeastern Conference catchers in fielding percentage during the 1999 season.
Louisiana State University, also form the SEC, will once again be making the trip to Omaha and with one last MCC connection. Louis Coleman, from Schlater, Miss, was a 2005 high school graduate that signed with MCC for the 2005-2006 season before leaving to play for the Tigers. Coleman was the first player from Mississippi taken on the second day of the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft, a 28th-round selection of the Atlanta Braves. He has become one of the leading pitchers on the LSU staff.
So, while most of these coaches and players with be wearing their current teams colors in an effort to claim the College World Series title, don’t surprised to see a little MCC Green & White underneath in Omaha.