Brown returns to coach HiToms in 2013
On a chilly afternoon at Finch Field Wednesday, the banners of HiToms Legends waved in the wind as they do year round. Inside the clubhouse, one of those very legends who made a lasting impact on the High Point and Thomasville communities, returned in hopes of bringing the once dominant franchise back to the top.
President Greg Suire announced at a press conference that former star Zach Brown, would be the 13th head coach in modern-day history. He becomes the third player for the franchise to return as a skipper joining Matt McCay (2008) and Sean Walsh (2012).
“When we looked for our new head coach I wanted to make sure we had maybe somebody who took that leadership role from day one,” said Suire. “It was quite evident in my discussions with Zach that he was that type of person. From his first day as a HiTom, Zach Brown was a leader. Inspiring his teammates to perform every day while simultaneously raising his game to historic status, Brown willed our organization to another level. Commanding respect from teammates and opponents alike, Zach has nurtured his coaching career from the day he stepped foot on Finch Field. I have full confidence that Brown will elevate our franchise once again.”
Brown played for the HiToms from 2005-06 while attending The Citadel. He helped bring the first Petitt Cup championship to Thomasville in 2006 — the first of three straight titles for the franchise. Since playing at Finch Field, Brown has gone on to play baseball professionally for three seasons, before returning to The Citadel as an assistant coach. He is currently an assistant at Furman University.
“It is an honor to be here and I appreciate the opportunity Greg has given me,” said Brown. “I will try to do the best job I can as far as leading the HiToms back to championships.”
Suire approached Brown when the position became available in August. With the last few seasons not living up to the expectations of the franchise, Suire wanted to find someone who would take a leadership role and bring back that fire the teams from 2006-08 had. A hard-nosed player who gave his all on every play, Brown seems to be the right fit.
“I was wary about it, but I was excited,” said Brown after being offered the job. “I knew there were expectations here. Some people do not like expectations because there is pressure. I know Greg expects a lot and once I thought about it, I thought it was a good challenge and opportunity for my coaching career. I am comfortable here having played for two years. I enjoyed the people and always liked the stadium. After talking to Greg, I realized we were going to be on the same page and was going to allow me to pick the staff and build the team that I wanted.”
His staff is made up of former players as well. Wilson Boyd was a teammate on the 2006 championship squad, while Shelton Cisson played beside Brown in 2005.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or email@example.com.