New Dawson County head softball coach Justin Rickett was hired to replace longtime head coach Jimmy Pruitt, who retired from coaching.
Rickett is a church-going, Braves baseball fanatic who loves to spend time with his family, read books, hunt, fish and play golf.
In college, Rickett played baseball at the University of North Georgia from 2004 to 2007 and has been the head softball coach at West Forsyth High School in Cumming for the last 10 years.
The Dawson County News sat down with Rickett this week to talk about joining Dawson County High School. Here’s what he said.
What is a favorite memory from your playing career at UNG?
“There are so many it's hard to pick just one. Winning the Regional in 04 and being a part of a 54 win team that year then winning the conference tournament in 05 and winning 57 games that year. Those would probably be my best memories.”
What got you into coaching?
“I was very fortunate to play for two great coaches in high school (Mike Strickland) and college (Tom Cantrell) that were a big influence in my life. I loved every part of baseball my whole life and since I was not good enough to play it for a living, getting to coach and be a part of the game was a close second.”
What is it that you love about softball?
“I love how fast and quick the game is. I love to see the kids care about each other and play together as a team. I also love to see them overcome mistakes and learn from the mistakes they made.”
Who have been your role models in life?
“My Mom and Dad are awesome and have been great examples in teaching me how to treat people and being able to serve others. They showed me how to work hard and think about others before I think about myself.”
“Some coaches that I have worked for and with who have been a big influence are Mike Strickland, Tom Cantrell, Mike Davenport, Byron Orr, Mike Pruitt, James Hallewell and Jim Ernst.”
What is one life lesson you keep in your back pocket that you learned while coaching?
“Being prepared is important but being able to adjust on the fly is more important. When coaching teenagers you always need to be ready for the unexpected.”
What are you hoping to accomplish with your time as a Tiger?
“I am hoping to build relationships within the school and the community to get people excited about softball. To help the kids in this community learn the lessons and make memories that this sport can provide. My goal as a coach is to help kids learn through the sport how to be a team player and be accountable for their actions and take those lessons into life so that they can have confidence in the real world and know they can be successful.”
If you could play catch with anybody from history, famous or not, who would it be and why?
“Chipper Jones. He was the best Brave of my life growing up and would be a cool guy to talk about hitting and baseball with. Then we could talk about deer hunting.”