By T. Scott Boatright
Ruston High School athletics director/football coach Jerrod Baugh is hoping to find a couple of diamonds in the rough after a tough turn of events for the Bearcat diamond athletic teams.
Both head baseball coach Toby White and head softball coach Tim Smith have resigned from their respective positions, leaving Baugh on the hunt to find their successors.
“At the conclusion of their seasons Coach White and Coach Smith both resigned, so we’re looking for a new softball coach,” Baugh said. “The certification fields are open, which means a candidate could teach pretty much any subject. We’re just looking for the best applicant to lead our softball team.”
Ruston High’s softball team went 16-15 this season.
The Lady Bearcats were the 20th seed in the Class 5A playoffs and lost their first-round playoff game at 13th-seeded West Ouachita by the score of 7-5.
Ruston’s baseball team went 23-10 on the season and was seeded fourth in the Class 5A playoffs. The Bearcats defeated Ponchatoula 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs before falling in the final contest of a best of three home series to 12th-seeded Central of Baton Rouge.
Baugh said White could stay on as an assistant football coach or maybe even work with the baseball program.
“He still wants to remain connected in some way,” Baugh said about White. “This year has been so tough in every area and Toby’s been doing this 30, maybe 35 years. I think it’s one of those things where he just kind of realized it was the right time and that’s what he’s decided.”
Baugh said hopes are to have new head coaches for both teams in place before the end of the school year.
“With the end of school being so close we’d like to move as possible to hire new coaches for both sports,” Baugh said. “I don’t know that there’s necessarily a timetable but we’d like to do something by the end of school to give the new coaches the opportunity to meet with the players and maybe even have some sort of reception so that they could meet the players’ parents and that sort of thing.”