Former Webster County baseball coach Greg Pirtle is returning to Webster County.
Pirtle began his coaching career in Webster County, where he served as a teacher, assistant baseball coach and head JV under Charlie Hust.
“I didn’t know him at time he came along,” Hust said. “If you want to have a good program, you have to start young, so I was looking for a JV coach when someone introduced us. I gave him the JV program and he ran with it.”
During that period the Trojans’ became something of a baseball powerhouse, winning multiple regional championships and having some success in the state tournament.
“Greg was a major key to our success during the eight or nine years we worked together,” Hust stated. “He taught them how to practice, how to win and how to work hard. And the kids loved him. Webster County is very very lucky to have him.”
He replaced Hust as the Trojans’ head baseball coach for the 1999 and 2000 seasons.
The retired educator was announced as the new head softball coach at Webster County High School on Monday morning.
“It’s kind of like coming back home,” Pirtle said. “The people of Webster County have always been very kind to me. I hope to fulfill their hopes for their team.”
This will not be Pirtle’s first coaching job in softball as the now-retired educator was at the helm of the Henderson County Lady Colonels from 2001 to 2005—compiling a 124-60-record while leading his team to the region championship game three out of five years. In 2005, Pirtle’s Lady Colonels won the Second Region title and finished third in the state softball tournament.
“WCHS is excited about what Coach Pirtle will bring to the table and to the WCHS Lady Trojans Softball Program,” Webster County athletic director Matt Bell said in a statement.
While this is Pirtle’s first head coaching job at the high school level in over a decade, he has remained close to the game by giving private lessons to players, including some that are currently on Webster County’s roster. Pirtle says this experience has helped his coaching abilities even further.
“I’m more patient now than ever,” Pirtle said. “I work with several of the young ladies that play for Webster and Henderson, too. We get along beautifully.”
Pirtle’s current coaching staff includes his son Gabe, Courtney Omer and Webster County graduate Mickey Blue. Blue is currently the USFA (United States Fastpitch Association) regional director, and he plans to establish travel teams for the younger girls in Webster County in order to establish sustainability for the program in coming years.
“Mickey is associated with USFA and we are planning on having a full-court press in getting all ages of WC girls playing softball to build our feeder program,” Pirtle said. “Mickey has great ideas for this aspect of our plan.”
Blue—who has recently developed a great passion and interest for coaching—is also looking very forward to working with Pirtle.
“I love the fact that Greg will be the head coach and I will have a chance to learn from a guy who works well with kids,” Blue said. “I love kids and I want to be able to help kids become more successful in life…not just in sports. I am looking forward to working with him.”
Pirtle replaces Coach Greg Sutton who resigned in July after compiling a 199-208 record and winning the first district title in school history during two stints for a total of 14 years with the program.
The Lady Trojans finished with at least 15 wins in Sutton’s last seven seasons at the helm, and the program saw unprecedented success the past three years. Webster finished with 20-plus wins in both 2016 and 2017, and the team advanced to the Second Region Tournament semifinals for the first time since 1999 with a 10-0 victory over Lyon County last May.
The Lady Trojans went 18-10 this past season while winning the Sixth District title for the first time in school history, and the team will return all but two starters for this upcoming season.
Reach CAMERON BROWN at firstname.lastname@example.org