Barnes leaving Pike County after two seasons

Published 6:59 pm Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Pike County High School head baseball coach Taylor Barnes will not return for the 2019 baseball season.

The head coach, who took over prior to the 2017 season, is currently pursuing another opportunity in North Alabama.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to coach there,” Barnes said. “To be able to coach there and teach there was an absolutely wonderful experience for me. It’s an experience I will never forget and, honestly, it’s a tough one to leave. I really love those guys and I am proud of what they have done.”
Barnes took over for previous head coach Chad Mansmann who departed after just one year with the program.

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“We had a goal to build a culture that set a standard of excellence not only on the field but off the field,” Barnes said. “We’re trying to develop great young men. The process of creating that culture was definitely there and its definitely going to continue. That’s not something just the coaching staff has influence on. That starts with the players.”

Barnes and the Bulldogs finished the 2017 season with a 5-20 record after focusing on getting to know his players and what they had to offer on the diamond.

The goals changed for Barnes and the Bulldogs in year two. The second-year head coach wanted to win 10 games. His players accomplished that goal exactly after they finished the season 10-15.

“It really makes me excited about what they are going to do next,” Barnes said. “This season was great. I don’t think anybody was satisfied with it or didn’t’ want more out of it, but I think they overcame adversity. They competed in ball games and came out on the winning side of it 10 times.”

The Bulldogs had just one senior this season and Barnes, now as a fan of Pike County, can’t wait to see what is next.

“All of those guys are returning and I think they are hungry,” Barnes said. “Whoever the new coaching staff is, they have kids that will be hungry and bought in. I think they will have tremendous success.”

Through all the ups and downs that the last two years offered, the biggest thing that Barnes will remember are the players.

“The good times we had, the laughs we had at practice and even the bad times we had – I will never forget the players,” Barnes said. “They’re guys I will always stay in touch with. I believe for the majority of high school coaches, this is why we do it. I don’t think we do it for the pay. In the end, most high school coaches have a special spot in their heart for players. That is the part I will never forget.”