In just one season the effects of Luke Howard’s teachings to the King Tornado pitching staff have become evident after the Scarlet and Navy achieved 30 wins and advanced to the conference postseason tournament, largely behind the Tornado’s arms. Howard begins his second season with King serving as the team’s pitching coach and recruiting coordinator.
Despite the loss of the team’s ace from 2011, Howard helped mold a three-armed machine that accounted for 22 of the team’s 30 wins last season. He helped Cory Rhoades become the Tornado’s No. 1 hurler, leading the team in wins (9), earned run average (3.09), and strikeouts (74) en route to achieving All-Conference honors. Rhodes was second in the conference in overall wins and third in strikeouts while posting numbers across the board that were personal improvements for the sophomore. Howard also groomed lefty Reiss Stanley into a full-time starter while turning Wes Houser into a threat from the bump at any point in the game with his seven wins, two saves, and three complete games while leading the team and finishing second in the league in innings pitched (98.0).
Prior to coming to King, Howard spent the last three seasons at NCAA Division II affiliate Ouachita Baptist University (Ark.) of the Gulf South Conference. While at Ouachita, Howard coached two pitchers to All-Conference honors, while overseeing one Player of the Year and All-Region player. In his three years at Ouachita, four players went on to sign professional contracts, including left-handed pitcher Kolby Moore who signed with the River City Rascals in the summer of 2011. In his first season with OBU, Howard helped the team to a 37-20 overall record, including a 23-5 mark at home, and housed a 10-game winner on the team’s starting pitching rotation.
After spending a season as an assistant coach at his high school alma mater, Springboro (OH), Howard began his collegiate coaching career at the University of Cincinnati during the 2006-2007 season. After one season he moved on to fellow Division I affiliate Murray State University for the 2007-2008 campaign. During his time at Cincinnati and Murray State, Howard coached nine players who went on to play professional baseball. At UC, Howard coached the Bearcats’ winningest pitcher in program history and Minnesota Twins 2008 MLB Draft seventh round selection, Dan Osterbrock.
Howard began his collegiate playing career as a pitcher at Purdue University (2000-03) before transferring to Ohio University (2003-05), where he finished his career. While at Ohio, Howard earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing and sociology. He completed his master’s degree in leadership from Fort Hays State University in August 2012.
A native of Springboro, Ohio, Howard is married to the former Annie Brumback and has one son, Drew Engel Howard (1).