English to be inducted into GACA Hall of Fame

Posted 3/20/2022

Longtime Cobb County coach Donnie English, left, will be inducted into the GACA Hall of Fame.


English headed to GACA Hall of Fame

Longtime high school baseball coach Donnie English will be one of five new inductees into the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

English, one of just five coaches in state history with 700 or more baseball victories, will be joined by Hal Lamb, Lee Hill, Seth Vining and Terry Tuley as part of the Class of 2022. The induction will be June 3-4 at the Dalton Convention Center.

English, a Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame member, compiled a career record of 716-397 in more than three decades of coaching high school baseball. He coached at Osborne (1973-2003), Douglas County (2003-2004) and Kell (2005-2013). He retired after the 2014 season.

His resume includes 13 postseason appearances, a state runner-up finish (2006), five subregion titles, four region runner-up crowns and eight region titles.

He was Georgia Coach of the Year eight times, Athletic Director of the Year in Cobb County in 1985 and in 1993 and he was recognized by the Georgia Senate for Outstanding Service to baseball in the community.

He was the Georgia Dugout Club Coach of the Year and Atlanta Braves 400 Coach of the Year in 2006.

English received the Circle of Achievement award from the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association (GACA) in 2002. At the time, English was just the seventh coach in the state to receive the award.

In 2013, the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) named English its Division III National Coach of the Year. He was also selected the Region 4 Coach of the Year.

English served as region baseball chairman for more than 20 years. He was athletic director at Osborne (1982-2002), President of the Metro Atlanta Dugout Club (1979-1980) and Georgia Dugout Club Tournament Director (1980-1985). He served on the Georgia Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame committee and also served on the Georgia Dugout Club Executive Board for more than 30 years.

His teams were Georgia Dugout Club Division Champions 12 times. He coached the Georgia Dugout Club All-Stars five times (1977, 1983, 1987, 1992, 1997) and he coached the GACA all-stars twice.

His coaching career also went outside of the state. He coached the Georgia Junior Olympic Team to a Silver Medal in 1991, and he coached the National Junior Olympic Team to a Silver Medal in San Antonio. Former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and former NFL and professional baseball standout Josh Booty played under English on the team.

English also coached softball at Osborne (1989-2002) where his teams won more than 150 games and played for slow-pitch region titles twice.

He graduated from Americus High School in 1964 where he played several positions under legendary coach Melvin Kinslow (also a Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame member). English attended nearby Georgia Southwestern College and played college baseball under Godfrey Knight before graduating. He was the first four-year letterman at GSW.

He was drafted for military service and he served in the United States Air Force (1969-1973) where he spent time in Vietnam for a year. While serving his country, English was awarded four medals, and he taught Vietnamese pilots and officers how to speak the English language. He was awarded two Vietnam service medals.

The athletic complex at Osborne was named in his honor in 1993 and in 2013, and the road leading into Kell High School was renamed "Donnie English Way."  English was inducted into the Georgia Southwestern Hall of Fame in 2000.

He sent more than 80 players to college during his tenure and a handful played professionally, including Todd Jones, Jason Jones, Adam Morgan, Zeke Spruill and Ben Paulsen.

"I've been fortunate," English said. "A lot of coaches always talked about their principals and administrators. I always had very supportive principals. I had a lot of good players and a lot of good coaches. A lot of my coaches went on to be head coaches."