About a month after taking the head baseball coach position at Cartersville High School, Bobby Howard resigned Thursday morning, he confirmed to the Ledger-Enquirer.
“They are great people and they made a great offer, but the retirement/investment piece could not be worked out,” Howard said.
Howard, one of the most successful high school baseball coaches in Georgia High School Association history, had 35 years in the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia when he left Columbus High School in 2015. He spent the last two years at Central High School in Phenix City before resigning at the end of last school year.
He took the job in Cartersville last month. Cartersville is a Georgia public school and the job would have impacted Howard’s retirement benefits.
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“Economically, it was not feasible and it just didn’t work out,” Howard said.
Howard, 66, had been spending weekends in Cartersville evaluating talent, he said in a recent interview.
Asked what he planned to do next, Howard said, “Right now, I have no idea.”
In 39 seasons as a head baseball coach, Howard’s teams have compiled a 985-296 record. That is a winning percentage of more than 78 percent, and his Columbus High School teams have won 12 Georgia High School Association state titles. Another eight times his teams finished second in the state, amassing 29 region titles in the process.
The bulk of Howard’s career has been spent in Georgia, where he first coached at Kendrick High School, then built a high school dynasty at Columbus High. His Columbus High teams won 12 Georgia High School Association state championships and once was voted No. 2 in the mythical national championship.
Three times Howard has been honored as a national coach of the year. He was Diamond Baseball National Coach of the Year in 2000; USA Today National Coach of the Year in 2004; and the ESPN High School Coach of the Year in 2012.
He was inducted into the Columbus State University Hall of Fame in 1998, the Georgia Dugout Club Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Chattahoochee Valley Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
He was recently selected to the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
He has sent at least 10 players to the major leagues, including former Chicago White Sox star Frank Thomas, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Many of his other former players have played college and professional baseball.