So Brent Alumbaugh, who was named the new Warriors head coach recently, has his work cut out for him, and he wouldn’t want it any other way.
Alumbaugh, who takes over for the recently retired Charlie Walraven, comes to Gordon Central from Oak Ridge High School in Texas where he held the same position for the past four years. Before that, the Florida native was the head coach at Franklin High School in Tennessee from 2003-2008 and was an assistant coach in the Frontier League from 2000-2002.
At both Franklin and Oak Ridge, Alumbaugh said he took on rebuilding projects similar to the one he now faces at Gordon Central.
Recently, the Calhoun Times caught up with Alumbaugh to discuss his new position with the Warriors, his expectations for his new team and how he plans to put a winner on the field, among other things.
Here’s what he had to say:
CT: How did you find out about this job and what was your interest in it?
Alumbaugh: I saw the job on the Teach Georgia web site after I had been searching the internet for about a month. I was looking for jobs around here to try to get a little closer to my family in Florida. I saw the job opening at Gordon Central and it just said it was for a coaching position, so I went ahead and sent my stuff because is matched up with the teaching requirements. Then Mr. (Scott) McLanahan called me and told me the job was for a head baseball coach, and I was thrilled because that was exactly what I was looking for. After that, I interviewed with Mr. McLanahan, (athletic director) Kim Turner and a few of the parents. I felt like it was a good fit for me. It reminded me of the situation when I started at Franklin.
CT: Talk about your feelings when you heard the news that you had gotten the job.
Alumbaugh: Obviously, I was happy. It was a load off because, like I said, I had been looking for something in this area. I’ve got a good feeling about this job and being able to do something here with the baseball program.
CT: What is your coaching philosophy?
Alumbaugh: Basically, as far as my philosophy, it changes somewhat from year to year based on the type of personnel I have. I’ll use Franklin as an example. In 2006, we hit 43 home runs as a team so we really didn’t bunt a whole lot. The following year we had graduated a lot of those guys that hit the home runs so I changed my philosophy a little bit and went with more small ball. We set the state record for sacrifices that year and went back to the state tournament that year. I take my personnel from year to year, and that’s what I base my practice philosophy on. We spend the most time on what is going to help us win the most. I’m very organized and high disciplined. We’ve got to prepare these guys for life after high school and baseball is just the vehicle that we use to do that.
CT: After some tough years for Gordon Central baseball, how are you going into this job looking to rebuild?
Alumbaugh: We’re going to put something on the field after working hard in the offseason, conditioning wise. We want to get these kids bigger and stronger. We want to get them focused on baseball. We want to try to teach them the game a little bit. I think kids these days don’t study the game as much as they used to. They aren’t going to sit and watch the game and really observe it for nine innings. So we’re going to work on teaching them the game and put a good product on the field, hopefully, something the school can be proud of.
CT: What are your expectations for your first season?
Alumbaugh: I’m pretty excited after meeting with the kids and the parents. The kids seem like they’re really receptive to learning. They are hungry and want to win. They want to do what it takes to win. They had a rough season last year, and it’s one of those deals where you almost have to reach rock bottom to be willing and receptive to do anything to get success. I think they are in that mode. We are going to do a lot of things that they’ve never done or experience before. I’m a 24/7 baseball guy. I told them that when we start conditioning in the fall, you better have done something physically in advance or you might have some trouble. Some of the stuff we’re going to do is probably going to be some of the hardest things they’ve done physically in their lives, conditioning wise. A lot of it is to get them bigger, stronger and in better shape, but it also will hopefully develop some mental toughness.