PANAMA CITY — Bay High School looked within to announce the hiring of a new head baseball coach on Friday.
The Tornadoes also looked back, to former player Andrew Starr who had been the junior varsity and assistant varsity coach the past three seasons.
Starr had the interim head coach label removed with his hiring on Thursday, and replaces Daniel Davidson, who somewhat suddenly was not renewed last month following the most successful of his three years guiding the Tornado program when the team was 12-15.
Starr, 27, is a 2005 Bay graduate who said he was humbled by the opportunity to lead the program. He also went on to play collegiately at Wallace-Dothan, then Berry College in Rome, Ga., which advanced to the NAIA World Series.
While acknowledging a debt of gratitude to learn under Davidson’s tutelage, Starr spoke of the need to get the Tornadoes program back to where it needs to be.
To do so, he has enlisted the help of a number of former Bay standouts. Tom Martin, who had a solid career in the major leagues, will help tutor the pitching staff. Cody Shields will help with hitting, Reid Wynn with the catchers and former Florida State football standout Bert Reed has agreed to aid in strength, conditioning and agility.
“They’re all passionate about Bay High. There’s a lot of excitement around the program,” Starr said. … “(Coaching) was a dream for me growing up. When I came to Bay High I was a troubled young man and was able to fulfill my goals and play in college and have my education paid for.
“I feel like I owe something back. We need to get back to what we’ve been in the past and get guys ready to have the opportunity to go and play at the next level. Coach Christian McCarter molded me and helped get me ready” when Starr played three seasons at Bay.
Starr is not currently on the faculty at Bay, but works in the school district as a teacher at Cedar Grove Elementary School.