Bobby Howard is on the move again, but this time, it’s a long way from the Chattahoochee Valley.
Howard resigned as Central head baseball coach on May 24 and accepted the same position at Cartersville, about two hours north of Columbus, nearly one month later. As a result, the longtime Columbus head baseball coach is leaving the Bi-City area to coach a team that was once a perennial playoff foe for the Blue Devils.
After being selected to the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Howard spoke about how he’s getting comfortable in an unfamiliar place with a new team.
It’s still a work in progress, Howard revealed.
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“I’m moving there this weekend, so we’ll see,” Howard said. “I haven’t settled in yet. I’ve been going up there on the weekends and trying to evaluate some of our players who have been playing.”
Howard also detailed the unusual circumstances that led him to become Hurricanes head coach.
Howard said longtime Cartersville head coach Stuart Chester called to ask his thoughts on Chester potentially going to Buford, a move he officially made on May 23. Howard said he and Chester have been friends a long time, and given Howard’s status as one of the senior coaches in the state, his opinion clearly meant a lot to Chester.
Chester’s move opened up one of the top baseball jobs in Georgia. Before too long, it was none other than Howard who filled it.
Howard said he was familiar with the Cartersville roster from having faced the Hurricanes the past two years at Central. In the end, the chance to lead the baseball program was one he couldn’t turn down.
“It’s a marquee school,” Howard said. “They won state football the last two years, and baseball is good, too. It was kind of difficult (to leave).”
Cartersville made the state playoffs in 2017 but lost in the first round to eventual state runner-up Blessed Trinity. As a Class 4A team, there’s a legitimate chance Howard could face a Muscogee County team next postseason.
The odds of playing Carver, Shaw, Hardaway, Northside or even Columbus are real, but to Howard, even thinking about that right now is putting the cart before the horse.
“I’m not worried about the playoffs right now, I tell you what,” Howard said. “I’m just worried about getting up there, getting to know my players and seeing how good we can be.”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports