Chris Howell was named the sixth head coach of the Augusta University baseball program on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 and he begins his first year at the helm for the 2017 season.
Howell spent the 2016 season as the top assistant for the Jaguars and oversaw the pitching staff before being promoted to the head position.
“Chris has all that it takes to be our next head baseball coach at Augusta University. This is a position that he has been preparing for throughout his baseball career,” Director of Athletics Clint Bryant said. “He is an exceptional young man and coach who impresses everyone that he encounters. His tremendous leadership abilities will translate not only to success on the field, but to the growth and development of our student-athletes academically and personally. We are excited about him taking over our baseball program and we look forward to the continued improvement of Augusta University baseball under his direction.”
During his first season in Augusta as the pitching coach and assistant to former head coach Jason Eller, the Jags earned a No. 18 national ranking and a 29-22 overall record – the first winning season for the team since 2008. Augusta made their first Peach Belt Conference Tournament appearance since the 2011 season, while two Jaguars were named All-Region Players of the Week and three named PBC Players of the Week.
Howell came to Augusta and the CSRA after spending the 2015 in the Peach Belt as a top assistant at Young Harris College.
In the 2013 and 2014 seasons, Howell enjoyed a stint at Middle Georgia State College as an assistant coach. Howell was the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator for the Knights during those two seasons.
Howell began his coaching career at his alma mater Tiftarea Academy – a private school in Chula, Ga. During his four-year stint with the Panthers baseball program, Tiftarea won the 2009 GISA Class AA State Championship and was runner-up the following year. Howell garnered state Coach of the Year accolades in 2009 and Region 3-AA Coach of the Year honors in 2009 and 2010 while at Tiftarea
A native of Fitzgerald, Ga., Howell was a three-time, all-state and four-time, all-region player at Tiftarea before starting his college career at Pensacola Junior College.
He pitched two years in the Panhandle Conference and furthered his career to the University of Tennessee where he pitched two years for the Vols. His career with the Vols ended strong by helping his team advance to the 2005 College World Series in Omaha, Neb., as a senior.
After college, Howell pitched two years professionally for the Los Angels of Anaheim organization. He earned his bachelor's degree in education from Tennessee and an associate degree from Pensacola.
On Sept. 6, 2015, Howell married the former Kori Pickowitz in Hiawassee, Ga.