By TREY WILLIAMS
Scott Hagy thought he’d put the romance of the baseball diamond behind him. Instead, he’s remarrying – and going from a Hatfield to a McCoy.
Hagy, who coached David Crockett baseball for 20 years before stepping aside after the 2017 season, was named the new coach at rival Daniel Boone last week. Going to the wrong dugout seems like a possibility the first time the Trailblazers and Pioneers meet next season.
“It’ll be surreal,” Hagy said. “But it ought to be a lot of fun.”
Indeed, it’s fun looking ahead when you inherit two-way player Cade Elliott, a rising senior that’s committed to Tennessee. Hagy began teaching last year at Boone, where Elliott’s father Josh also teaches. Josh played baseball and football at Boone and pitched at Centre College, and Hagy said Josh has had a positive influence on and off the field on his friendly, respectful son.
“You can see that just walking through the halls at Daniel Boone – just the way Cade handles himself,” Hagy said. “I can see where Cade gets it. His dad is very humble and very down to earth as well.”
Elliott, right fielder Colby Backus and center fielder Brody Goodman are three of the primary reasons Boone should contend in the Big Seven next season. The ‘Blazers split with Science Hill, Dobyns-Bennett and Tennessee High this season for the first time in Rob Hoover’s 14-year career and secured the No. 3 seed for the district tournament.
Hagy’s Pioneers, led by Clinton Freeman, reached the sectional in back-to-back seasons (2009-10) before losing to Farragut.
“We’re gonna play for one thing, and that’s to win the conference,” Hagy said. “I do know what it takes to advance and to move on, and I think with the returning group of players who are there … it’ll be interesting to see how it unfolds.”
Former Milligan College coach Danny Clark, a minor league coordinator with the Texas Rangers, considered the Boone job for a time. And Bernie Young, who coached Science Hill to the 1998 state championship, expressed an interest late in the process.
“This announcement comes after an exhaustive search process,” Boone athletic director Danny Good said, “with a great deal of interest from many individuals. … The search committee for this position sought to find the most qualified, experienced, and dedicated educator possible. These factors ultimately led to the hiring of Coach Hagy. During his span of nearly 30 years of service to Washington County Schools, Coach Hagy has served for 20 years as a baseball head coach, athletic director, administrator, and teacher.”
Hagy is pleased to be working with Good and Boone principal Tim Campbell.
“I have a deep admiration for Tim and Danny both, and the jobs they’re doing at Boone,” Hagy said. “I appreciate the opportunity to continue on.”
Hagy’s staff will include Tucker McPherson, Drew Patterson and John Long, who played for Hagy at Crockett. Logan Clark, who worked for Hagy at Crockett, could join the bench, too.
“If we can work it out, I’d love to have him,” Hagy said. “The more eyes you have out there, the more hands you have to help – I think it just makes things easier and better. … I’ve talked several times with the staff – Tucker and John and Drew. We’re gonna meet some this week and see if we can’t really get started in earnest and keep this thing continued on the path it was on when Rob had it.”
Hagy, like Hoover, would rather be remembered for having a positive influence on teenagers than winning ballgames. Hoover left to concentrate full-time on the ministry.
“He’s just a tremendous man and he’s a pleasure to work with in school,” Hagy said. “And I think anybody in that building would tell you the same thing. And we butted heads a lot in district tournament games and regular season games, close wins and close losses. But he’s just a fine individual.”
Boone will essentially conduct auditions for new roster spots this week.
“We’re gonna have tryouts this week,” Hagy said. “We’re getting a little bit of a late start there. We didn’t get to have anything before the (two-week) dead period.”
Hagy is a 1983 graduate of Sullivan East, where he played for John McKamey and Dave Rutherford. He began teaching at Mary Hughes Middle School in 1988, and coached former David Crockett principal Andy Hare there.
It seems like a long time ago, especially if you’re sitting at the house.
“I just wasn’t ready to retire,” Hagy said. “This presented itself and I did not want to regret not taking it, I guess, is what it boils down to.”