Russell County hired former Edgewood Academy assistant coach Josh Hendricks as its new baseball coach, Hendricks confirmed Thursday evening.
Hendricks, 30, has served six years as an assistant coach at various schools. While at Edgewood, he was a part of three AISA state titles. The Russell County job is his first head coaching position.
“Obviously, I’m incredibly excited to take this job at Russell County,” Hendricks said. “I can’t thank them enough for believing in me as a young coach.”
Hendricks played baseball at Tennessee Tech out of high school for three years before transferring to Auburn-Montgomery, where he played in the NAIA World Series. He was a graduate assistant for one season at Auburn-Montgomery, before taking over as an assistant at Prattville, Opelika and Edgewood. This past year, he gave private lessons in San Antonio, Texas.
Hendricks is replacing former Warriors coach Tony Rasmus, who was hired at Florence High in Florence, Ala. Rasmus coached Russell County for 13 years, winning 401 games and a state title in 2005.
“My goals are to keep the same tradition alive that Coach Rasmus has instilled here,” Hendricks said. “He’s probably one of the winningest coaches in the state over the past 13 years. I’m a lot like he is: I’m driven and really want to carry on this same tradition. We’re not going to do anything other than win. That’s got to be the goal every year.”
The Warriors will be without a handful of key players next season, as senior pitchers Jesse Nelson (Troy) and Todd Dial (Pensacola Junior College) both graduated. Also graduating were Anfernee Grier (Auburn), Hunter Webb (Alabama) and Trevor Davis (Gulf Coast Junior College). Nelson and Webb were the All-Bi-City co-pitcher and co-player of the year, respectively.
“I don’t know if you replace those types of great players,” Hendricks said. “Really, it’s just about those next guys in line. It’s time for them to step up and do their job. Baseball is like a bank account: You only get out what you put in. As long as we put the effort in and have the right attitude, I think we’ll be just fine.”
Hendricks said he met with Rasmus at the Russell County facilities on Thursday to get the keys and learn his way around. He plans to meet with returning players early next week.
“I want to sit down with them and see where we’re at,” he said. “Who do we have, what positions and what are their goals. Their goals are as important as mine. We’re trying to build a family here.”
David Mitchell, 706-571-8571; Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports.