Towny Townsend To Receive Bud Metheny Award On Jan. 26

September 25, 2006
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Sept. 25, 2006

NORFOLK, VA--Towny Townsend who has dedicated much of his life to the sport of baseball will be honored as the 30th recipient of the Bud Metheny Award at the GTI Systems, Inc. "Meet the Stars" banquet, Friday Jan. 26 at the Sheraton Norfolk-Waterside as part of the annual Greenwich Kitchens/ODU Baseball Clinic weekend. The banquet begins with a social at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for the banquet are $50, and on sale at the Old Dominion Athletic Ticket Office in the Athletic Administration Building (683-5484). The Greenwich Kitchens Baseball Clinic will be held Saturday, Jan. 27 with one session, beginning at 9 a.m.

"Bud Metheny was a mentor and role model to me in my early years as a player and then later as I started out on my coaching career," says Townsend. "Coach Metheny along with my father were two of the most influential men in my personal and baseball life. The list of past award winners and their accomplishments are staggering. To be included in this group is the single greatest baseball honor I have ever received."

Townsend was a two-time All-Conference performer at College of Albermarle in Elizabeth City, NC, where he captained the nationally ranked teams in 1972 and 1973. He also earned All-Region and second team Junior College All- American in 1973. During his two years of junior college he was drafted in the second round by the California Angels and again after his second year in the first round of the secondary phase by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He opted signing a pro contract to attend Campbell University, where he led Campbell in his junior year to the most wins in school history and was selected All-Conference, All-District, NAIA All-American and third team All-American by the American Association of College Baseball Coaches.

In his junior season of 1974, Townsend was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the first round of the secondary phase and played briefly in their minor leagues before returning to Norfolk and starting a coaching career that has covered 30 years.

Townsend founded the first baseball camps in the state of Virginia in 1977 and has run camps every year for 29 years. Referred to as the founding father of A.A.U. baseball in Virginia, he founded the Virginia Blaster baseball club in 1992 for ages 10-15. His AAU teams won four of the six state championships and finished as high as third at nationals.

Towny became the youngest head coach in college baseball at Virginia Wesleyan in 1977-78, leading the Marlins to conference titles in his first two years. HE was named Dixie Conference Coach of the Year in 1978 and was Co-Coach of the Year in 1979. Towny was also regional Coach of the Year and a finalist for National Coach of the Year. During the 1979 season, Wesleyan defeated Old Dominion, VCU, East Carolina, Norfolk State and William and Mary. He compiled a 71-34 record in three years.

In addition, Townsend has coached at his alma mater, Lake Taylor, where he turned around a program that was 3-48 the previous three years to 101-39 over eight seasons. He was a five-time Eastern District Coach of the Year. In 2000, he became the head coach at Greenbrier Christian Academy where he was named TCIS conference coach of the year twice and captured four straight league titles. In 2001, Greenbrier won the state championship and he was selected Virginia Coach of the Year for private schools. Townsend compiled a 120-19 in four years at Greenbrier.

Townsend has been battling cancer since 2002 and is presently receiving chemo-therapy for lung cancer. Cancer has not however deterred him for his love of all things- baseball. In 2005 he was named by the Chesapeake Athletic Club as Coach of the Year and has patented a baseball training tool called the Towny Townsend hitting disc. He is also in the process of writing a book on coaching and motivation titled "Dad let's play catch."

Townsend's teams and camps boast some of Hampton Roads most prestigious baseball names, including Mike Cuddyer (Twins), Jason Dubois (Indians), David Wright (Mets), B.J. Upton (Tampa Bay), Patrick Nichols (Nationals), Justin Upton (Diamond Backs), just to name a few.

He currently resides in Chesapeake and works for the Norfolk Public schools at Ruffner Academy. Towny and his wife Cathy have two sons. Sean is the Junior varsity baseball coach at Great Bridge High School and his wife Emily the varsity field hockey coach, and Chase, who attends Mary Washington College and is a member of the school's baseball team.

PREVIOUS BUD METHENY WINNERS 1978 Dave RosenfieldGeneral Manager, Norfolk Tides Co-Founder of ODU Clinic 1979 George Kotarides President, Milton=s Pizza 1980 Ed Nagourney Rices Nachman Dept. Store Co-Founder of ODU Clinic 1981 Bud Metheny Former Old Dominion baseball coach 1982 George McClelland Former Executive Sports Editor The Virginian Pilot/Ledger-Star newspapers 1983 Charlie Sugg Real Estate Assessor, City of Norfolk 1984 Don Fett President, Waymar, Inc. 1985 Clyde McCullough Former major league scout 1986 Abe Goldblatt Sportswriter, The Virginian Pilot/Ledger Star 1987 Richard J. Davis President, Tidewater Professional Sports, Inc. 1988 Harry Postove Major League Scout 1989 Hank Foiles Foiles Insurance, former major leaguer 1990 Lewis D.Hirschler Hofheimer=s Inc, 1991 Richard Alexander Umpire 1992 Bob Rathbun Former sports anchor,WTKR TV WTAR Radio 1993 Sandra Pickin Founder of the Peninsula Muscular Dystrophy Benefit Baseball Tournament 1994 John T. Callahan Former President of Tidewater Baseball League 1995 Gary Wright Tidewater Summer League, AAU 1996 Paul Fraim Mayor of Norfolk 1997 Roy L.Burton, Jr. Founder of Willard-Lakewood Athletic Association & the Granby Booster Club 1998 Paul Vestal President Greenbrier Athletic Assoc. 1999 Ken Young President, Norfolk Tides Baseball Team 2000 Lester Bangs Local Baseball Scout 2001 Warren Spivey President Spivey Rentals 2002 Bill Swan Former Head Baseball Coach at Virginia Wesleyan Former Assistant Baseball Coach at ODU. 2003 Tim Miller Chairman ACS Systems & Engineering 2004 Luke Newman President of Greenwich Kitchens Center 2005 Pat Baker Local Dentist 2006 Tony Zontini Coach/teacher