Former Russell County baseball coach Tony Rasmus has had five days to reflect on the fact that, for the second time in a year, he is in between jobs.
He left the Warriors last May to take a job at Florence High and resigned that position on Friday, citing contrasting styles between himself and the school.
There were additional reports in the Florence Times Daily of an altercation at the school involving Rasmus, but he denied that taking place. Florence schools superintendent Janet Womack said there was a situation at the school but didnt give further details.
Now, he is once again looking to the future. And the only thing he knows for sure about that is that hes going to be more careful about finding the right opportunity.
I wont jump into anything too quick, Rasmus said on Wednesday. Im going to do a better job next time of making sure that its going to be a better fit for me. Whatever I decide to do will be something where Im able to be me 100 percent.
That was a problem at Florence, he said.
Too often, he heard anonymous complaints about his approach from parents and others. He knows his style doesnt mesh with everyone.
Im a little different, a little outspoken and abrasive at times, he said. I wanted to coach and I wanted to work, but I didnt sign up to be the school counselor or the school chaplain. I wanted to coach. My style has always been that were going to be hard-nosed, tough and prepare you for life. To constantly get blowback, not from kids but from unknown people, it just wasnt worth it for me.
Florence won 25 games and made an appearance in the first round of the state playoffs in its only season under Rasmus, making vast improvements over teams that had struggled to losing records in recent seasons.
Rasmus said his players did everything he asked of them and were happy to work, but others outside the program were the ones causing problems.
I think we won more games this year than the past three combined, he said. Our first workout was bad. There were things we teach our Little League kids that we had to work on. And thats not their fault, they just hadnt learned it. In the fall, I felt like if we won a game, itd be a miracle. We won 25 and really came a long way. Thats a tribute to the kids.
They wouldnt let me talk to the kids on the way out, but I got probably 50 messages saying they learned how to work. Thats the only reason Im in it. I could care less about the parents.
Now, Rasmus says hes going to make sure his next environment is one that allows him to work the way he is accustomed to, the way that earned him more than 400 victories, a state championship at Russell County in 2005 and state runner-up in 2006.
And if an opportunity like that doesnt exist?
If thats the case, I may have to hang my stuff up and lay out by the pool, he said. Ill definitely be looking, because thats the one thing I love to do.
He said hed like to come back closer to the Phenix City area, where the rest of his family still lives.
The one thing my wife told me is that if we leave Florence, Im going to have to park her behind in Phenix City with the grandbabies, he said with a laugh.
Asked whether he would ever consider a return to Russell County High, he didnt answer with a distinct yes or no.
Yeah, somebody asked me about that last night, he said. Cyle (his youngest son) said, Why wouldnt he go back? His names on the field. I dont know. They may not want me back, for all I know.