Baseball: Osceola’s Stefan Futch on verge of 400 wins

For decades, baseball has been dominated by teams in the northern part of Pinellas County. 

Calvary Christian. Clearwater Central Catholic. Dunedin. Seminole. All state champions from the past. All competing for national titles at some point. All possessing major league level talent other teams can only dream about. 

The southern part of the county does not have that same tradition.

The talent is not as deep. Coaching continuity is scarce. 

Still, there has been one constant in that area, at least since 1997. 

Stefan Futch. 

The former Dixie Hollins (now Hollins) standout is in his 25th season coaching baseball in Pinellas County, first at St. Petersburg (1997-2008) and now at Osceola, where he has been since 2011. 

Futch never made coaching baseball in the southern part of the county a deterrent.

In fact, he has thrived, so much that he is on the verge of a major milestone. 

With a win today against Palm Harbor University, Futch will hit 400 victories in his career. 

Other coaches have racked up impressive totals such as Seminole’s Bill Brinker, Dunedin’s Greg Nichols and Clearwater Central Catholic’s Todd Vaughan, all of whom are retired.

Palm Harbor University’s Tom Hilbert, who previously coached at Dixie Hollins and Dunedin, is the only active county coach ahead of Futch with more than 500 wins.   

But those coaches all spent the bulk of their careers in the northern part of the county. 

Futch is believed to be the first who spent his entire coaching career in the southern part to reach 400. 

“To be able to do this coaching in south Pinellas County is big to me,” Futch said. “It’s something special.”

Futch knows what it is like to endure. He spent a year playing college baseball at Huron, an NAIA school in South Dakota that no longer exists.

After that, he got his degree from Florida State and then landed his first teaching job at St. Petersburg, where he also became the baseball coach. 


He never thought about making a career out of coaching. After stepping down with the Green Devils, he spent two years umpiring high school baseball games. 

But the opportunity as a math teacher – and a baseball coach – at Osceola, a fundamental school, was too good to pass up. 

By continuing to guide from the dugout, he became a south county institution. During his tenure at both schools, Futch led his teams to eight appearances in the Pinellas County Athletic Conference title game.

He went 1-7 in those championship games, the lone title coming in 2011 when Osceola, led by ace Taylor Layner (now the coach at Largo) beat Seminole. 

And only one player, former St. Petersburg standout Jacob Barnes, ended up playing Major League Baseball in Futch’s coaching career. 

“Layner and Barnes, those were probably the two best players I ever coached,” Futch said. 

These days, Futch is surrounded by family at Osceola. His oldest son, Evan, finished his senior year playing football in the fall. His daughter, Addison, is a junior on the softball team. And his youngest son, Ethan, is a freshman on the baseball team. 

Today, Ethan can help his father reach that milestone. It would add more meaning coming against the Hurricanes and Hilbert, another coaching legend in the county. 

If the Warriors do not win today, Futch could end up clinching 400 against his alma mater on Wednesday. 

But do not expect the wins and the coaching years to keep adding up much longer.

Futch said he plans to retire from coaching once Ethan graduates. 

“That will be long enough as a coach,” he said.