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Goodman returns to head up baseball program

By Michael Butler

The Tallassee School Board approved the hiring of John Goodman as the next Tallassee High School head baseball coach at a special called meeting on Monday, May 9.

This is a familiar position for Goodman, who served in the same capacity from 1993-2008. He is the program's winningest coach with a record of 316-206.

"It's really and truly a dream come true," said Goodman. "I've got unfinished business. I want to get this back to where it needs to be."

Tallassee is coming off a 4-25 season under Coach Kyle Hammonds, who stepped down after just one year.

The program has had four straight losing seasons, missing the playoffs in each. The last state title was in 1998 under Goodman.

"Used to when you had a ball game down here there were people everywhere. I want to put Tallassee baseball back in people's minds. Then when it's all said and done, I want to leave on my terms and walk away from it with a smile on my face."

After Goodman's first baseball tenure at THS was done, he moved over to softball as head coach. He later worked in the same sport as an assistant with his cousin Chris Goodman in winning another state title at Alabama Christian.

"There's not much difference in that yellow ball and white ball," Goodman said. "Other than pitching, it's pretty much the same."

On the softball field in 2013

Goodman won state championships at Tallassee in 1995 and '98. He was an assistant with coach Ronnie Baynes when the program won five state titles.

"It started in '85. Both of us were down in the youth leagues. My season would end early. I'd come back and help Coach Baynes. I was there most of the time. I started full-time in '89. It was rolling."

Goodman noted that baseball has evolved since his early years as a coach.

"Summer stuff is more involved than it was back then," he said. "Now, you get all summer long to do something with them. You don't want the kids to play too much. I started working on a calendar. It's a lot to do in a very short period of time."

As for tryouts, there will be none.

"I've never done tryouts. What we do in the summer and fall - if a kid can make it through it, I'll give him a spot on the team. We're going to work. Don't think you're going to come out for baseball and not work. You're going to log many a mile, mill step and boat ramp. We're going to get strong and practice. We're going to build character. We're going to build a baseball team."

No matter what the numbers are, Goodman will fill the spots accordingly.

"We're going to have everybody out there this summer. I don't care how old you are. If you can play, you can play. We'll get our varsity, then our JV. Your middle school is the only one limited to grade.

"We'll have a varsity and a number two team. The number two team will be built to where they can come up. It may be a back and forth type thing. I've done it before that way. We would take a pitcher and if he wasn't getting as much work on varsity, we'd let him throw some JV games.

"It's a numbers game. I don't know how many kids are going to buy in. Some of these older kids may say baseball is not for them. That's fine. If you can't do it now, you won't be able to do it when we need you."

Goodman talked about filling coaching slots at all levels.

"I've asked for one person. We've got to make sure that there's a position. Hopefully it's going to work out for us. Everything else is pretty much set. We're going to take the coaches that we've got. I believe they're going to be good. We're going to coach our coaches and have a philosophy and work everyday."

With the new position as coach, Goodman will also go back to full-time with the school relinquishing his duties as director of the Tallassee Parks and Recreation Department.

"I've got until July. Then I'm going back to the Alternative School. It'll be a little bit different coming back out of retirement, but it's well worth it."

Expectations are for a turnaround in more ways than one.

"We're going to change the attitude. I'm not worried about talent. We're going to work hard enough to take care of the talent part. What we've got to do as coaches and parents is take care of some attitudes. I saw too many people turn around and talk to umpires, too many helmets being thrown. I saw not running out on the field, not legging out a ground ball. That type of stuff is not going to happen if you want to play Tallassee baseball. That stuff is gone.

"At home I need you to support the program. All these guys that played for me, y'all know what I'm talking about. If I'm getting it from the house, I'm going to get it on the field. It's going to be fun and exciting, but it's going to be hard. They're going to come home with booboos, sore arms, legs and backs. Tell them to suck it up buttercup and let's get after it."

Goodman File (as THS Head Coach)

16 seasons (1993-2008)
Record - 316-206 (most wins by THS coach)
Program record for single-season wins - *1998 (33-5)
13 playoff berths
2 state championships (1995, 1998)

    Tallassee High School Baseball History  
Year W-L Postseason Coach
*1959-70 No Program  
1971     Duane Webster/Jack Finlayson
1972     Dan Bianchi
1973 5-12 Dan Bianchi
1974     Dan Bianchi
1975 13-2 Ronnie Baynes
1976 8-8   Ronnie Baynes
1977 12-3   Ronnie Baynes
1978 8-7 Ronnie Baynes
1979 9-3 Lost to Thompson 8-5, 1st Round State Class 3A Playoffs Ronnie Baynes
1980 9-6 Lost to Thompson 3-2, 1st Round State Class 3A Playoffs Ronnie Baynes
1981 6-7   Tim Posey
1982 6-8 Ronnie Baynes
1983 2-13 Ronnie Baynes
1984 8-8 Ronnie Baynes
1985 15-8 Lost to Wilson in Class 4A State Finals Ronnie Baynes
1986 21-5 Won over Pleasant Grove, 1st State 4A title Ronnie Baynes
1987 26-4 Won over Litchfield, 2nd State 4A title Ronnie Baynes
1988 18-4 Lost to Haleyville, 4A Quarterfinals Ronnie Baynes
1989 19-8 Won over East Lawrence, 3rd State 4A title Ronnie Baynes
1990 24-3 Won over New Hope, 4th State 4A title Ronnie Baynes
1991 29-1 *(22-0 Regular Season)
Won over Pleasant Grove, 5th State 4A title
Ronnie Baynes
1992 22-8 Lost to Daphne, 4A Semifinals Ronnie Baynes
1993 19-6 Lost to Opp, 4A Quarterfinals John Goodman
1994 20-7 Lost to Grand Bay, 4A 2nd Round John Goodman
1995 30-6 Won over Jacksonville, 6th State 4A title John Goodman
1996 20-7 Lost to Ashford, 4A 2nd Round John Goodman
1997 29-8 Lost to Grand Bay, 4A 2nd Round John Goodman
1998 33-5 Won over Pleasant Grove, 7th State 4A title John Goodman
1999 12-23 Lost to T.R. Miller, 4A 2nd Round John Goodman
2000 20-14 Lost to Greensboro, 4A 2nd Round John Goodman
2001 15-12 John Goodman
2002 21-11 John Goodman
2003 13-19 Lost to Elmore County, 4A 2nd Round John Goodman
2004 13-22 John Goodman
2005 15-14 Lost to Gulf Shores, 4A 1st Round John Goodman
2006 23-16 Lost to St. James, 4A Semifinals John Goodman
2007 18-21 Lost to Bibb County, 5A 2nd Round John Goodman
2008 15-15 Lost to St. Paul's, 5A 2nd Round John Goodman
2009 17-19 Lost to Beauregard, 5A 2nd Round Adam Clayton
2010 28-10 Lost to Beauregard, 5A 2nd Round Adam Clayton
2011 20-17 Lost to Russell County, 5A 2nd Round Adam Clayton
2012 13-19 Lost to Charles Henderson, 5A 1st Round Adam Clayton
2013 14-18 Adam Clayton
2014 18-12 Adam Clayton
2015 28-8 Lost to Rehobeth, 5A First Round Adam Clayton
2016 27-9 Lost to Charles Henderson, 5A First Round Adam Clayton
2017 26-15 Lost to UMS Wright in 4A Quarterfinals Adam Clayton
2018 16-14 Lost to Munford, 4A First Round Adam Clayton
2019 10-16   Adam Clayton
2020 8-6 *Latter half of season canceled due to COVID-19 Adam Clayton
2021 7-16-1   Adam Clayton
2022 4-25   Kyle Hammonds