Taking over one of the most prestigious Division II baseball programs in the country, Greg Appleton has built upon the Cougar tradition. Entering his 18th season at the helm of the Cougars in 2014-2015, Appleton has established himself as one of the best coaches in the country.
With a record of 618-346 with Columbus State, Appleton is the winningest coach in CSU history. He is inside the top 20 on the NCAA Division II winningest active coaches list with an overall winning percentage of .641.
In his first 17 years in charge of the CSU program, Appleton has led the Cougars to the 2002 National Championship, nine NCAA postseason appearances, three Division II College World Series Appearances, one Peach Belt Conference regular season championship and two PBC Tournament championships.
Overall, Appleton has 22 years of head coaching experience spending four years at Young Harris College before arriving at Columbus State. While at Young Harris, Appleton restarted the baseball program that had been dormant for 30 years. He found instant success leading the Mountain Lions to a 127-74 mark.
In 1995, just the second year after the program was restarted, Appleton's Mountain Lions made their first of three straight appearances in the Georgia Junior College State Tournament. In fact, the team made it to the finals before falling to perennial national power Middle Georgia College.
Appleton has had some milestone victories over the past couple of seasons as he captured his 500th career victory in a Cougar uniform on March 11, 2011 against Ohio Dominican. In the season prior, he captured his 600th career victory against Lynn University on February 28, 2010.
Entering 2015, Appleton holds an overall coaching record of 745-420.
Appleton led Columbus State to its first ever National Championship in 2002 as the Cougars finished the year with a 48-15 record. In the World Series, the Cougars fell in their opening game to Central Missouri but rebounded to win five straight games, including three in their final at-bat. CSU defeated Cal State-Chico 5-3 in the championship game to bring the title home to Columbus.
In 2007, the Cougars set a new school record for victories with a 51-19 mark as Appleton led CSU to the championship game before falling to Tampa.
Columbus State had another outstanding season in 2011 as the Cougars won the Peach Belt Conference West Division. The Cougars finished the season with a 32-19 record and advanced to the Southeast Regional for the second consecutive season.
The Cougars returned to postseason play in 2014 posting a 40-17 mark and reaching the NCAA Tournament Southeast Region final. Appleton coached seven All-PBC players, the most in program history, and recorded the school’s 10th 40-win season. During the year, Appleton recorded another milestone winning his 600th game as the head coach of the Cougars against Francis Marion on March 21. The program also won its 1,500th game during the 2014 season.
During his 17-year tenure, Appleton has coached 56 All-Conference players, 14 All-American players and 24 players that have signed professional contracts.
Additionally, Appleton has coached four Peach Belt Players of the Year (Bouras 2000, Pittmon 2004, Rogers 2010, Scott 2013), two Peach Belt Pitchers of the Year (Pierce 1999, Noles 2008), a Peach Belt Freshman of the Year (Bouras 1998), and a NCAA DII Pitcher of the Year (Noles 2008).
In addition, Appleton was named the National Coach of the Year in 2002 and the South Atlantic Region Coach of the Year in 2007.
Prior to assuming his duties at Young Harris, Appleton was an assistant coach at the University of Georgia from 1987-92. He was the pitching coach for the Bulldogs and helped lead the team to the 1990 NCAA National Championship. He also helped guide the Bulldogs to the 1987 Southeastern Conference crown and a trip to Omaha for the NCAA College World Series.
Prior to becoming a full-time assistant at UGA, Appleton served as a graduate assistant for the 1985 and ‘86 seasons. He was a player for the Bulldogs from 1981-84 and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education, as well as a Masters of Education in Sports Management, both from UGA.
Appleton, born in Chicago but a lifelong resident of Atlanta, is married to the former Anne Ferrell of Snellville, Georgia. The Appletons have a daughter, Kaylee.
Appleton's Record Year-By-Year
|1998||34-27||14-14||South Atlantic Regional (1-2)
||National Champions (8-1)
||Division II College World Series (4-2)|
|2006||41-20||16-11||South Atlantic Regional (0-2)|
|2007||51-19||22-8||Division II College World Series (8-2)|
|2008||43-19||19-8||South Atlantic Regional (2-2)|
|2010||44-12||16-7||Southeast Regional (2-2)|
|2011||32-19||16-8||Southeast Regional (0-2)|
|2014||40-17||23-7||Southeast Regional (4-2)|
||9 Appearances, Record: 29-17