RAMSEUR – Brent Haynes figured that he would land a job as a head coach for a baseball team when the right opportunity came around.
Eastern Randolph athletics director Foster Cates had the same thing in mind for Haynes.
So this week, Haynes begins his first season as coach of the Wildcats.
“I’m pumped up. I’ve always wanted to have my own program,” Haynes said. “To have the opportunity present itself is pretty exciting for me.”
Eastern Randolph was in need of a coach last summer after Mitchell Frazier stepped away.
“I had been telling (Haynes) that when we had an opening that I would be calling him,” Cates said. “And I did.”
Haynes, 35, is a Southern Alamance alum and a former pitching coach with the Patriots. He also has coached with Impact Baseball and, most recently, Dirtbags, a pair of prominent travel ball programs.
As a player in high school, Haynes was a pitcher and third baseman for Southern Alamance. In his junior season in 2005, the Patriots won the Class 3-A state championship and he was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the title series.
“It’s not a surprise to me (that he has a head-coaching role),” said Southern Alamance coach Jason Smith, who coached Haynes in high school. “In high school, he was always a leader and a thinker.”
Haynes played collegiately for Young Harris in Georgia and for Mount Olive. From there, his coaching roles have included multiple stints with Southern Alamance, a couple of years as Guilford Tech’s pitching coach and a season at Chapel Hill High School.
He coached a Dirtbags age-group team for several years as it rose through the ranks, including last summer. Infielders Hunter Atkins of Randleman and Tyler Parks of Southwestern Randolph played for Haines’ team with the Dirtbags.
Those relationships remain in place.
“He came up with our group, just a great guy, great coach,” Atkins said. “I love talking to him. I helped him with the field over there (at Eastern Randolph) and he helped me with some pitching.”
Haynes had been teaching at Southern Alamance Middle School before taking a spot this school year as a physical education teacher at Eastern Randolph.
The Wildcats were 9-17 overall and 4-8 in the Piedmont Athletic Conference last year. Eastern Randolph hasn’t had a winning season since going 15-9 in 2017.
“I think we’ve got a chance to be pretty good,” Haynes said. “We’ve got a good mixture of some seniors and some underclassmen who are going to be in the lineup every day.”