Corky Palmer, retired Southern Miss baseball coach, dies at age 68
The man who led the Southern Miss Golden Eagles to their only appearance in college baseball's world series has died. Carlton "Corky" Palmer, 68, died Wednesday after suffering a stroke two years ago.
Visitation for Palmer will be held Sunday, August 14, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home (205 Bay St., Hattiesburg). The funeral will be held Monday, August 15, at 1 p.m. at Providence Baptist Church (1180 Eatonville Rd., Hattiesburg). The service will be live-streamed through www.facebook.com/pbchattiesburg -- the official Providence Baptist Church Facebook page.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Providence Baptist Church's Building Fund -- or to the Corky Palmer Baseball Scholarship Endowment (USM Athletic Foundation, PO Box 15458, Hattiesburg, MS 39404).
Palmer was the head coach for the Southern Miss baseball team for 12 seasons -- compiling a record of 445-272. Palmer led the Eagles to seven NCAA tournament appearances -- including their lone appearance in the Men's College World Series in 2009. Palmer was named Conference USA's coach of the year in 2003.
Palmer was previously the head coach at Lee High School and, later, Columbia High School. After a two-year stint as an assistant coach at Southern Miss in the mid-1980s, Parker accepted the head coaching job at Meridian Community College.
At MCC, Palmer compiled a record of 409-160 in ten seasons -- including five Miss-Lou Conference Championships and four Region 23 titles. Palmer's teams went to the Junior College World Series three times. MCC was the national runner-up in Palmer's final season in 1996.
Palmer returned to Southern Miss, his alma mater, in 1997 as an assistant coach -- before becoming head coach the following season. As a player, Palmer had a career .274 batting average as the Eagles' starting catcher and was the team's captain during his senior season in 1977.