Dawson County High School has named a new baseball coach.
Varsity boys basketball coach Thad Burgess will replace Jimmy Pruett. Burgess was approved at the Sept. 9 board of education meeting. He will continue to coach the basketball team.
Pruett had been the head Tiger baseball coach for 22 years.
"Coach Pruett has been very loyal to the baseball program for 22 years. The players, parents and community should all be very grateful of the commitment he put into the baseball program. I want to make sure that his accomplishments will be remembered by all present and future players and he will be very helpful in the transition as he wants the program to continue to succeed," Burgess said.
Burgess is no stranger to coaching baseball. His teams at Walker High School in Alabama were consistent region and state contenders. His 2002 team reached the Elite Eight with a record of 32-8. Burgess had a player, Trent Hill, sign with Mississippi State University to play under legendary coach Ron Polk.
The very successful Tiger basketball coach commented about his hiring: "I jump into this job with a great deal of excitement and expectations. I will be very demanding of our players and expect they represent our baseball program, school and community in a way that it deserves. Pride and commitment will be shown in everything we do.
"My goal will be to make it fun and bring a level of success that our community expects. I am a coach that has no hobbies, so the opportunity I have been given coaching two sports will be fun, not just for me, but my family."
The respected coach is seen at most major high school events.
"My family is at every football game, every basketball game and have enjoyed going to the baseball games in the Spring. We are used to being all over the North Georgia area either watching or scouting games, my girls have been around high school sports their whole life," Burgess said.
Burgess said the overlap between the end of basketball season and the beginning of the spring baseball season should not be an issue.
"I have juggled being an offensive coordinator, head basketball coach and head baseball all at the same time during my career. Dawson County has been wonderful to us all and I look forward to working with the baseball players and parents to make our baseball program really special," he said.
Burgess said he anticipates getting an early start on the next season. He said plans for the upcoming season are right around the corner.
"Over the next several weeks I will be evaluating our players, getting a coaching staff together, preparing a throwing program for the pitchers and the preparation of our facilities," he said.
Baseball conditioning will begin in January.