WHS looks to hit home run with next hire

Published 6:59 pm Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The departure of baseball coach Matt Burnett has left Washington’ second-year athletic director Allison Jones with the unenviable task of trying to find the Pam Pack’s fourth baseball manager in four years.
The chain of events was triggered when former WHS manager Darin Vaughan left the Pam Pack after three seasons to take a scouting job with MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays. Because Vaughan left in the winter, Washington hired his assistant Travis Rogerson as a stopgap measure in 2009, though they new he could only hold the position for a year.
When that year was up, Burnett was tabbed to lead the Pam Pack for the foreseeable future. However, the skipper was offered, and accepted a position, at Myers Park High School, a 4A school that is located closer to his family.
“We appreciate Coach Burnett’s efforts last season,” Jones said. “We wish him nothing but the best as he moves across the state into his next role as a baseball coach.”
Jones and the school have taken a very proactive course of action as they are aggressively pursuing candidates. However, the school is a bit hamstrung due to the timing of the situation.
“It’s never easy to lose a coach at this time of the year. … The bottom line is that you always want to find the best person for that position, but you also have to take into consideration the teaching opportunities that are available at the high school as well,” Jones said. “We have been fortunate to have a group of candidates who are able to fill the necessary requirements that we need for teachers as well as being very qualified to coach a varsity baseball team.”
So far the school has zeroed in on a few coaching candidates and is hoping to make a hire in the very near future.
“We looked at some candidates this week and we have been talking to several others as the process takes its course,” Jones said. “We hope to be able to make announcement soon.”