AMERICUS, Ga. -- Josh McDonald is returning to where his collegiate baseball career began. At a press conference Friday afternoon, Georgia Southwestern State University Athletic Director Mike Leeder introduced McDonald as the Hurricanes head baseball coach. McDonald played at Georgia Southwestern from 2001-06.
"I look back on those experiences and say they are definitely why I'm standing here today, ready to lead this program," McDonald said. "I'm proud to be back."
McDonald is nine days removed from the completion of his seventh season as an assistant coach under Rodney Hennon at NCAA Division I Georgia Southern University where he worked primarily with the catchers and hitters, coached first base and helped coordinate the Eagle baseball camps. Georgia Southern finished with 30 or more wins in six of the seven seasons McDonald was on staff and 270 victories overall.
Prior to his work at Georgia Southern, McDonald served as hitting instructor, worked with the catchers and held third base coaching responsibilities at Louisiana State University Eunice (2008-11). In three seasons, the LSUE Bengals went 148-40 and captured a national championship in 2010 and a third place finish in 2009 at the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II World Series. LSUE finished the 2011 season with a 45-15 record and fell one win short of returning to the World Series as the Bengal squad finished the season with a team batting average of .325. In the 2010 championship season, the Bengals posted a 52-13 record and a .359 batting average. In 2009, the Bengals went 51-12 en route to their 3rd place finish at the NJCAA Division II World Series and hit .368 as a team.
McDonald has also been involved with several camps in the Southeast including Vanderbilt University, DeMarini Top 96, Clemson University and Auburn University.
In the summer of 2008, McDonald served as an assistant coach for the New Market Rebels of the Valley Baseball League. He worked with hitters and infielders and also served as third base coach.
McDonald will not be getting his first taste of Peach Belt Conference baseball as he served as an assistant coach at Georgia College from 2006-08. During his two seasons, McDonald served as first base coach and worked with outfielders and hitters. He was also involved in the recruiting efforts for the Bobcats. The team was 79-40 over his two seasons, including a PBC regular season title in 2007.
"We determined as a (hiring) committee that we wanted a head coach who understood the importance of his direct involvement in recruiting," Leeder said. "Not only is Josh a proven producer in recruiting, he's one of our own."
McDonald, originally from Fitzgerald, Ga., completed his playing career at Georgia Southwestern where he earned a degree in Health and Physical Education. He was a four-year letterman for the Hurricanes, playing first base and was a three-time All-Academic selection. He also helped lead the Hurricanes to two regional appearances in 2005 and 2006.
McDonald completed his graduate work at Georgia College where he earned a master's degree in Health and Physical Education.
McDonald is married to the former Christi Jenkins of Marietta, Ga. The two married in August of 2013 and have a daughter, Lanier, born in December 2016.
Special thanks to Georgia Southern University Athletics for its contribution to this story