Blaze name Entrekin next coach

Blaze name Entrekin next coach

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Blaze name Entrekin next coach

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MURFREESBORO

Justin Entrekin heard a lot of coaching rumors the past three weeks as to who would be the next baseball coach at Blackman High.

Blackman principal Gail Vick put the rumors to rest Monday evening when Entrekin, 33, was named the fourth Blaze head coach in school history. He replaced Chris Parker, who resigned after four seasons.

Entrekin, a Summertown graduate, spent six years as the head coach at Hampshire. He just completed his second season as a Blaze assistant.

“Given the way it’s been the past three weeks with the rumor mills that were stirred up, to say I was excited is an understatement,” Entrekin said. “I’m more relieved. It affected the kids more than me. I’m excited that I’ll get to continue to be with them and watch them grow and develop to compete in the toughest district in the state.”

Parker left after a 16-23 season where the Blaze finished fifth in a six-team District 7-AAA. He has since been named the head coach at Forrest, a Class A school from Chapel Hill. Parker was 91-65 in four seasons with the Blaze. He led Blackman to its only Class AAA state tournament in 2009, his first year at the school.

Parker’s resignation came after a season of turmoil. He was suspended two games by Rutherford County Director of Schools Harry Gill Jr. for violating the county’s facility rule when he let a non-faculty person use the baseball facilities without permission despite multiple warnings

Vick said Entrekin was one of 44 candidates that inquired about the position.

“Coach Entrekin shares our goal to develop student athletes into men of integrity and character while competing consistently with the strongest baseball programs in the state,” Vick said in a text message. “I am looking forward to working with coach Entrekin and am confident in his leadership for this program.”

Entrekin said assistant Shea Diehl will remain on the Blackman coaching staff.

Blackman graduated all-district players Clay Skipworth, Will Snider, Chance Johnson and Logan Fleenor. However, Blackman ace Hunter Martin and catcher Alex Brown return. Both were recently selected for the TBCA Showcase slated to be held Friday and Saturday at MTSU.

“I think the first thing is to realize that regardless of the record, or how the season went, I still think we were a good team,” Entrekin said. “Sometimes good teams have bad years. I think we had a good team, just a bad year.

“Our primary commitment we’ll make is getting back to the basics. We’re going to make a strong commitment to player development and player conditioning to become better baseball players.”

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