HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Leaders with the Southern Miss Department of Athletics announced former Golden Eagle baseball player, assistant coach and head coach Carlton Devan “Corky” Palmer passed away on Wednesday, August 10. He was 68.

Palmer, who was a Hattiesburg native, started his career as a player from 1974-77, and later returned as an assistant coach for the 1985 and 1986 season, before ending his baseball career as the school’s head coach for 12 years from 1998-2009.

The 2003 Conference USA Coach of the Year produced 11 All-Americans, 10 Freshman All-Americans and four Academic All-Americans. In addition, 19 players were drafted and played professional baseball. He also coached four C-USA Scholar-Athletes of the Year.

Palmer is one of only four Southern Miss baseball coaches to hold the spot since the start of the 1959 campaign and include Taylor (1959-1983), Hill Denson (1984-1997), Palmer and Scott Berry (2010-present).

Palmer earned induction in the athletic department’s M-Club Hall of Fame and was later a member of the 2011 Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame class.

The University of Southern Mississippi family mourns the loss today of Golden Eagle baseball coaching icon Corky Palmer. While our hearts break at the notion of his special presence not being with us, we do take solace that he has moved from suffering to a rightful and well-earned  eternal peace. I am fortunate to have been blessed to claim Corky as my Southern Miss classmate and my friend. His impact on generations of young men ripples out into the world of baseball and beyond. Corky was definitely one of a kind, and we will honor and cherish his memory here at Southern Miss always. To his wife Debbie, brother Ted and all the Palmer family, and to  the many Corky treated as family, we offer our most heartfelt condolences and the University’s support.

USM Interim President Joe Paul

Funeral services for Palmer have not been announced.