Christian Ostrander | Associate Head Coach
During his introductory press conference at the Davison Athletic Complex, Louisiana Tech head baseball coach Lane Burroughs announced that Christian Ostrander would remain on staff as the associate head coach of the Bulldogs.
Ostrander joined the Bulldogs prior to the 2016 season, helping to spark a magical run that saw the Bulldogs receive their first NCAA Tournament at-large bid in school history.
Serving as the pitching coach for Louisiana Tech, Ostrander’s pitching staff shattered the record books leading the Bulldogs to 42 wins on the season, the most for any LA Tech team since 1988.
Under the guidance of Ostrander, three Bulldog pitchers (Adam Atkins, Braden Bristo and Phillip Diehl) were all selected in the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft.
In 2016 LA Tech’s pitching staff recorded a school-record 496 strikeouts, obliterating the previous school-record of 452 which was set in 2002 and duplicated in 2007.
Of the 42 wins, which ranked first in Conference USA, 10 wins were over top-25 schools and 11 wins were over top-50 RPI schools.
After just one season under Ostrander, Adam Atkins recorded nine saves, which ranks second in LA Tech history. Atkins also produced an ERA of 1.20 and a K/9 of 11.20, both of which rank top-8 in Louisiana Tech history.
Ostrander came to Ruston in November of 2015, under then-head coach Greg Goff, having spent the previous seven years as the head coach at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Mississippi.
In addition to his head coaching duties at Jones County Junior College, Ostrander oversaw the pitching staff in his time with the Bobcats.
A native of Monroe, Ostrander led the Bobcats to two MACJC state championships in 2011 and 2014 and helped guide Jones County to four division title in seven years. He also led JCJC to two 40-win seasons and set the school record for wins in a season on four different occasions. In seven seasons at Jones County, Ostrander compiled a 255-109 overall record with the Bobcats, good for a .701 winning percentage.
In 2015, Ostrander and the Bobcats put together a successful season with Jones County posting 30 wins with an appearance in the MACJC State Playoffs for the seventh consecutive season.
In 2014, JCJC enjoyed great success with a 46-11 record and a No. 6 ranking in the final NJCAA Division II poll. The 46 wins by the Bobcats matched the single-season record for victories in a season. The Bobcats were ranked No. 1 in the nation for most of the season and captured the 2014 state title at the end of the campaign. That season, Jones County led MACJC and Region 23 and were ranked seventh in the nation with a 2.92 team ERA.
Ostrander led the team to a second place finish in the NJCAA Division II World Series in 2011. The 2011 Bobcats posted a 46-17 record, won the MACJC state championship and its first ever Region 23 title.
In his first season at Jones County, Ostrander led the Bobcats to a 36-16 overall record, a third place finish in the MACJC South Division and a berth in the MACJC State Tournament. It marked the first time the Bobcats advanced to postseason play since winning a state title in 2002.
A year later, Ostrander led the Bobcats to their first-ever MACJC South Division regular season title, a 38-12 record and the host role in the MACJC State Tournament. Prior to his stint at Jones County, Ostrander previously served as recruiting coordinator and pitching coach at Arkansas State from 2002-06 and also led Gulfport High School to the Class 5A playoffs in two seasons as the head coach for the Admirals.
Ostrander also served the pitching coach, recruiting coordinator and camp coordinator at Delta State from 1999-2002. DSU posted a 189-43 record during his four seasons, winning the Gulf South Conference West Division championship all four years and the South Regional championship in 2001 and 2002. In his final two seasons at Delta State, the Statesmen competed in the Division II College World Series in both 2001 and 2002.
He earned a bachelor's degree in education from Delta State in 1996 and his master's of education in administration from DSU in 1998. Ostrander has been a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association since 1998.
Ostrander is a native of Monroe, La. He and his wife, Amy, have two daughters, Caitlin and Allie.
Jerry Zulli | Assistant Coach
Louisiana Tech head baseball coach Lane Burroughs announced on July 6, 2016 the addition of Jerry Zulli to his staff as the Bulldogs’ assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.
Zulli (pronounced ZOO-lee) comes to Ruston after spending the 2016 season at Missouri following a successful four-year stint as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at South Alabama. The 15-year coaching veteran has spent time as an assistant in the SEC, Conference USA and Sun Belt while running the offense and recruiting for his respective teams since 2004.
"We couldn't be more thrilled and fortunate to have Jerry joining our staff at Louisiana Tech,” Burroughs said. “I've known Jerry for a long time and have watched him grow into one of the top recruiters in the country. He will be absolutely relentless in his pursuits to bring the best players to Ruston. He will work tirelessly to seek out young men with skill, character and tremendous makeup.
"Jerry is also well versed in breaking down the stroke and teaching aggressive offensive baseball. I'm excited about what the future holds with Jerry and Christian (Ostrander) in the same dugout. I want all Bulldog fans to join me in welcoming Jerry, his wife Kristen and daughter Zoe to Ruston."
In one season at Mizzou, Zulli ran the offense as well as serving as recruiting coordinator, infield coach and third base coach for the Tigers. Following the 2016 season, two Missouri hitters were drafted in the fifth and 31st rounds under Zulli’s guidance, while Zach Lavy was named an Olson Award Semifinalist and ranked 13th in the SEC with a .332 average.
Zulli was also responsible for adding seven recruits to Missouri’s 2016 signing class, five of which were selected in last month’s MLB Draft. Before joining the Mizzou coaching staff, Zulli was credited with assembling the 2015 signing class at South Alabama, a squad that helped lead the Jaguars to the 2016 Sun Belt regular season co-championship and an NCAA Regional appearance in Tallahassee.
In three of his four seasons at South Alabama, he put together top 50 recruiting classes, including a 2013 class that ranked 29th overall by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. That class was a key contributor to the 2015 South Alabama team that won 37 games and the Sun Belt Conference Championship in Zulli’s final season on staff.
In four seasons in Mobile, the Zulli-led South Alabama offense ranked first in the Sun Belt in batting average twice (2012, 2015) and ranked second in the league in 2013.
In his first season at South Alabama, Zulli’s offense led the Sun Belt Conference in batting average (.306), slugging (.452), on-base percentage (.389), runs scored (205), RBI (184), total bases (474) and hits (321) in league games.
He coached the 2013 Sun Belt Player of the Year and saw five of his hitters earn all-conference that season, as well. That season, the Jaguars finished as Co-Champions of the Sun Belt Conference at 43-20 overall (20-10 in league play) while advancing to NCAA Regional play for the first time since 2006.
During his four years at South Alabama, Zulli saw nine of his hitters earn All-Sun Belt Conference honors and he coached one conference player of the year, one All-American and one Freshman All-American.
Prior to his stint at South Alabama, Zulli spent seven seasons at Memphis in the same position, coaching the program’s hitters while serving as the recruiting coordinator. At Memphis, Zulli helped the Tigers lead Conference USA in hitting and on-base percentage on three different occasions, while ranking in the league’s top five in virtually every hitting category over the course of seven seasons.
He coached eight student-athletes to a combined 10 all-conference honors, including Chad Zurcher, who was the 2011 Conference USA Player of the Year and a Third Team All-American after leading the nation in average and on-base percentage. Zulli helped lead the Tigers to 36 wins and an NCAA Regional appearance in 2007, the program’s first postseason appearance in 13 years. In 2011, five Memphis student-athletes were taken in the MLB draft, while in his seven seasons at Memphis, Zulli coached 12 student-athletes who were drafted. In Zulli’s first season at Memphis, he led the Tigers to a 19-game turnaround from the previous year, the second best turnaround in NCAA history, while the offense ranked 30th nationally.
He began his collegiate coaching career as the recruiting coordinator at Middle Georgia College from 2002-04, where he helped the Warriors to a 130-51 record in three seasons, including two JUCO World Series appearances in 2002 and 2004. His 2002 squad finished sixth nationally, while the 2004 team closed out the season ranked fourth in the national polls.
Zulli is a graduate of the University of New Orleans where he lettered for two seasons. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sports management from UNO in 2002. Before continuing his playing career at UNO, he lettered two years at Middle Georgia College, winning the Terry Daniels Award while leading the Warriors to a Region XVII Championship in 1999.
Zulli is married to the former Kristen Bell (former Georgia softball player) and the couple has a daughter, Zoe Madelyn.
His hiring is pending the approval of the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.
Travis Creel | Assistant Coach
Louisiana Tech head baseball coach Lane Burroughs announced on July 11, 2016 the addition of Travis Creel to his staff as the Bulldogs' assistant coach and director of camps.
Creel joins Louisiana Tech after spending two years at Jones County Junior College, helping guide the Bobcats to a 2016 NJCAA Division II National Championship. During his stint with the Bobcats, Creel served as the hitting coach, infield coach and recruiting coordinator.
"We are so thrilled that Travis will be joining us at Louisiana Tech," Burroughs said. "Travis is a winner. I recruited him out of high school and saw him continuously get better as a player through college. He played under two men that I consider mentors and family in Corky Palmer and Scott Berry. He has also worked alongside Dillon Sudduth, Chris Kirtland and obviously, Coach Ostrander, three men I have the utmost respect for."
Prior of joining the Bobcats, Creel began his coaching career serving as the hitting coach at Meridian Community College for a season. During that year, Creel also worked with the infield.
Originally from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Creel was recruited by, then Southern Miss assistant, Burroughs. Over his five years with the Golden Eagles, Creel would help lead Southern Miss to three NCAA Tournament appearances and one appearance in the College World Series.
Creel holds the Southern Miss single-game record for hits in a game with six and in two separate seasons, led all of Conference USA in sacrifice bunts.
A two-time team captain, Creel was awarded the USM Colonel Fletcher Leadership Award.
"Travis has played in the College World Series and won a national championship as a coach," Burroughs said. "His knowledge and maturity far exceed his years. Our players are going to love working with Coach Creel on a daily basis. Please join me all Bulldog fans in welcoming Travis, his wife Alison and young son Brody to Ruston. I could not be more pleased with the staff we have assembled. Our better days are ahead."
Creel has earned both a Bachelor of Science (2012) and Master of Science in Sport Coaching Education (2015) from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Creel and his wife Alison have one son, Brody.