Scott Strickland has unexpectedly resigned as head baseball coach at Richmond Hill High School after two seasons.
Strickland, a 2007 graduate of Richmond Hill, cited personal reasons for his decision.
He also resigned his teaching position at Richmond Hill.
“Yes, I’ve resigned,” Strickland confirmed in a brief text message when queried. “Family is good and I’m in a better place now."
“Just needed to unplug and refocus my life.”
Strickland succeeded Stacy Bennett two seasons ago after spending seven years as Bennett’s pitching coach and top assistant.
When Bennett moved into administration Strickland was a natural choice to fill the position.
Unfortunately, his tenure got off to a rocky start as his first season was cancelled after 14 games due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Wildcats were 8-6 when everything was shut down.
Last spring, playing their typically strong non-region schedule, the Wildcats were 17-16 overall, 12-6 in Region 2-6A play.
Richmond Hill advanced to the second round of the GHSA state playoffs where it lost to eventual state champion Houston County.
Athletic director Mickey Bayens said the school advertised the job as of this past Monday.
In the meantime, he said assistant coaches would handle the day-to-day operations with activities limited to what the GHSA permits in the off-season.
The job should attract a strong field of quality applicants as Bennett and Strickland had developed the program into one of the best in the Coastal Empire and in Class 6A.
Throw in a strong group of returnees, the attractiveness of the community and the school’s strong academic ranking and it becomes a most desirable job.
A new coach will inherit a group of players who expect to and are accustomed to winning headed by Georgia commit Leighton Finley and Georgia State commit Luke Boone.
In addition, there is outfielder Evan Cowan who is also a top college prospect and a pitching staff that could be as good as any in the state.
Finley is the ace of the group but junior Hunter Legas had an excellent sophomore season.
Add Boone and Ryan Weibold and the Wildcats have a solid four-man rotation.
Other top returnees include Jalen Varnedoe, Ethan Fuller and Ty Goldrick as the Wildcats return seven starters.
Strickland played at RHHS for former coach Mitch Curry and went on to pitch at Augusta State and Armstrong State University before returning to Richmond Hill as a teacher and baseball assistant.
Following the 2017 season in which the Wildcats posted a school record 23 wins while advancing to the Elite Eight for the first time ever Strickland was recognized by the Georgia Baseball Coaches Association as the Assistant Coach of the Year in Class 6A