|Maddox will move up a seat to UC skipper |
|Barry Duncan did not have to look far for Union City’s new head baseball coach. |
Jeremy Maddox, an assistant in the Tornado program this past spring, has been elevated to the head post in the wake of David Barker’s not being retained in that capacity.
The head coaching responsibilities won’t be the first for the 29-year-old Maddox. He led McKenzie to the Class A state championship in 2006 and, in three seasons overall with the Rebels, he compiled a 61-33 record. That mark also included a sectional berth in ’07.
“I’m excited about getting started, and I have great expectations of the Union City baseball program,” Maddox told The Messenger via telephone from Boston on Monday. “There’s tradition from past success there. I’m hopeful I can take it up to another level.”
Union City has made seven appearances in the state tournament in the 32 seasons since the school’s baseball program was revived in 1976 — though none since 1995. The Tornadoes’ all-time record during that time is 486-273-2, including six seasons of at least 20 victories.
“I think it’s the goal of every coach to leave a program better than they found it, and I’m finding the Union City program in a good state,” the new Purple and Gold skipper claimed. “The talent is good and the facilities are among the best anywhere in Tennessee.
“I believe many of the things needed to continue that trend of success are in place. It’s my goal and challenge to raise take the program even further.”
Duncan officially confirmed the widely-speculated move on Monday, less than two weeks after Barker was informed he was being relieved of both his head baseball and assistant football coaching duties with the Twisters.
Barker posted a 79-41-1 record during four seasons at the helm, winning a pair of district championships and 20 games twice during that span. Prior to that, he was an aide in the UC program to Tim Evans.
The Union City administrator said he’s certain Maddox is the right person to lead the Tornado fortunes into the future.
“I am confident that, under his leadership, we will be competing at a very high level,” Duncan said of his appointment of Maddox. “His background, knowledge and experience in baseball that included him leading a team to a state championship will be a tremendous benefit as we move into the future in our program.”
Maddox was hired as a P.E. teacher at Union City Elementary prior to the 2007-08 school year. Whether he will remain in a teaching capacity at UCES or move to the high school has not been determined.
Prior to taking the McKenzie job in the late summer of 2004, Maddox played professionally in 2001 in the Tampa Bay Rays organization as an infielder.
He then played in the Independent League for the Evansville Otters before “retiring” midway through the 2002 season.
He then joined the coaching fraternity, working first for a year at Brenton Parker College, a NAIA school in Mt. Vernon (Ga.). He then served as a volunteer assistant at Westview High School for one season.
Maddox prepped at Mosley High School in Panama City, Fla., before moving on to the collegiate level to play at Berry College (Ga.).
He said he expected to retain the services of Derrick Pritchard, who also served in an assistant coach’s role this past season.
Maddox and wife JulieAnn are parents of 20-month-old daughter Jayden Avery.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.