Tiger assistant offers laid back approach to coaching baseball

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 22, 2006

Charles Oswald spent more than 30 years teaching and coaching the game of baseball in central Florida.

When the Greenville native retired, he came back to the Camellia City to enjoy his retirement.

But his fate changed one summer afternoon while he was playing in a golf outing with the Greenville High football coaching staff. A friend introduced Oswald to the Tigers new baseball coach Bobby Hughes and after a few moments Oswald's desire to coach baseball was rekindled.

Now, the Tigers volunteer assistant coach spends as much if not more time on the diamond as Hughes does.

&#8220I'm just glad that I'm working with someone who has the same passion and love for the game as I do,” Oswald said.

Oswald's laid back attitude complements Hughes aggressive and fiery attitude, too.

&#8220Yea, I guess you could say that I play the bad cop, and (Oswald) plays the good cop,” Hughes said.

And the players like that balance in the two coaches. David Stephenson said that he's learned more as a player from Oswald than any other coach before.

&#8220He's helped me improve my hitting considerably,” said the senior pitcher and infielder. &#8220I would have to say he's one of the best coaches I've ever had.”

And Oswald's calm demeanor tends to garner more attention from the players, too. While Hughes is a constant teacher before, during and after games, Oswald can just put a hand on a players shoulder and explain what he should or should not do.

&#8220He's just more calm and relaxed than coach Hughes,” Stephenson.

Still, Oswald does get his point across.

&#8220I like working with these guys because they want to win as much as I do, and they all want to learn this game,” Oswald said.

Hughes said that he couldn't ask for a better assistant than Oswald.

&#8220He's good for the kids, and you can't argue with 30 years of coaching experience,” he said.