Bart Osborne is heading into the his 11th season as the head coach of the Union College baseball program. He took over the helm in July of 2003, making him the seventh person to hold the post since the sport was reinstated at the school in 1974.
Osborne has compiled a 410-175 record during his first ninenseasons at Union, which included a trio of 48-win seasons in 2006, 2008 and 2011 to set the program record for wins in a season. In fact, after a 31-win season in his inaugural campaign in 2004, the Bulldogs have reeled off five consecutive 40-plus win seasons. In addition, the Bulldogs have posted a 166-62 record in Appalachian Athletic Conference play under Osborne and won the 2006 Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament as well as the regular-season championships in 2010 and 2011.
Union reached new heights in 2007 as it won the NAIA Region XII Tournament for the first time in program history and hosted the South Central Super Regional. In 2008, Osborne took the Bulldogs even further as Union won its second NAIA Region XII championship in a row and won the NAIA South Central Super Regional to advance to the Avista-NAIA World Series for the first time in program history.
The Bulldogs went 1-2 at the 2008 NAIA World Series to place fifth.
In 2009, Union posted a 44-12 overall record and advanced to the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round. The Bulldogs also participated in the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round in 2010 and 2011.
During his tenure, Osborne has produced one NAIA First Team All-American and 13 NAIA All-American Honorable Mentions, 15 NAIA Region XII All-Region Team players, 32 First Team All-Conference selections, the 2006 Appalachian Athletic Conference Player and Freshman of the Year and the Appalachian Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2011. In addition, Union had a player named the NAIA Player of the Week once in 2006 and a pitcher named the NAIA Pitcher of the Week twice in 2005. The Bulldogs have placed 39 players on the Academic All-Conference Team and seven have been named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes.
Under Osborne, Union has also had two player to be drafted in the MLB First-Year Player Draft while several other Bulldogs played professionally.
Prior to coming to Union, Osborne spent the past six years as an assistant coach at Murray State University. While there, Murray State made postseason tournament appearances every season and won the 2003 Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship. In addition, Murray State has produced 19 All-Conference team members, broken 16 offensive school records and raised it conference winning percentage from 39 percent to 51 percent.
Before coaching at Murray State, Osborne spent three seasons at Southeast Missouri State University as an assistant, was the head coach at Kirby High (Tenn.) School for two years and served as a graduate assistant at Delta State (Miss.) University for two seasons.
He received his Bachelor's degree from Middle Tennessee State University and his Master's from Delta State. Osborne played at Roane State (Tenn.) Community College, helping it win the state championship in 1987 and was the team captain in 1988.
Osborne is married, and he and his wife, Julie, have two daughters - Addison and Leanna, and a son - R.J.
Daniel Furuto is in his second season on the Union baseball coach staff.
Prior to coming to Union, Furuto was a volunteer assistant at NCAA Division I Campbell (N.C.) University during the 2011 and 2012 season, serving under head coach Greg Goff. Furuto played for Goff at NCAA Division II University of Montevallo (Ala.). At Campbell, Furuto coached outfielders and assisted with hitting. He was heavily involved with daily operations, was the camp coordinator, and in charge of field maintenance. In 2012, the team finished 41-18 breaking the school record for wins and was just shy of breaking the NCAA record for biggest turnaround from the 2011 record of 17-38. He coached one all-American and four all- conference players, including Michael Felton who led the NCAA in hits in 2012 while also breaking the Big South Conference record.
Furuto spent the summer of 2012 as the heead coach for the Lima Locos in the Great Lakes Collegiate League. He spent two summers as an assistant coach in 2009, 2010. As the head coach, he led the team to a 24-15 record including a tie for the regular-season championship and a semi-finals appearance. In 2010 as the associate Head Coach, the Locos team went 18-21. In the summer of 2009, Furuto coached a Locos team that finished 28-8 and were regular-season champions with a berth in the GLCL playoffs. He has coached 10 players in Lima that have gone on to play professional baseball. He spent the summer of 2007 playing for the Locos as an outfielder leading them to a regular season championship and 26 wins. He was named second team All-GLSCL after hitting .295 and leading the league with 5 HRs.
Furuto played collegiately at the Montevallo. He was a four-year starter and twice named all-conference. In 2006, he led his team to a South Central Regional Championship by being named MVP, a 43-18 record, World Series semifinal, and a No. 3 final ranking. In 2007, Montevallo lost in South Central Region championship but broke the school record for wins with a 47-17 record. Overall, he was 162-82 as a starter in his four-year career and holds several school records. He graduated in the spring of 2008 with a B.A. in mathematics.
Furuto is a native of Birmingham, Ala.
Clint Helton is entering his first season at Union as the pitching coach.
Prior to coming to Union, Helton spent the 2012-13 season at St. Andrews (N.C.). As a volunteer coach at St. Andrews he worked as an assistant to the pitching staff and coached first base. Other duties included assisting with recruiting, camp director, field maintenance, fundraising, travel coordination and monitoring student-athlete academic progress. During Helton’s stint at St. Andrews he assisted the team to a third-place finish in the 2013 regular season with an overall record of 25-22, collecting the most wins since 2005 and the first season above .500 since 2005.
During the summer of 2013 Helton was the pitching coach for the Shore Eagles of The Beach League in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Shore Eagles finished fourth overall in the league and posted an ERA of 2.69.
Helton will be the head coach of the Surfside Rays of the Beach Collegiate Baseball League in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in the summer of 2014.
Helton played collegiately at Maryville (Tenn.) from 2007-11. Spending the majority of the time as a reliever at Maryville, Helton finished five appearances shy of the career appearance record. In 2009 he was also a member of GSAC Conference Championship team.
Helton earned a B.A. in physical education & health for teacher licensure K-12 from Maryville in 2011.
Helton is a native of Walland, Tenn.
Jonathan Riddle is in his second season as a member of the Union baseball coaching staff.
Riddle was a five-year member of the Bulldogs as a catcher, playing for Union from 2008-12. For his career, he batted .292 with five doubles and 34 RBs. He threw out a total of 17 would-be base stealers and had a career fielding percentage of .984.
In addition, Riddle was a member of three Union teams which advanced to the NAIA National Championship Opening Round.
Riddle is native of Eighty Eight, Ky.
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