Southland hires Chris McCormick as varsity baseball coach

Chris McCormick (pictured) is the new high school baseball coach at Southland High School.

The Southland Rebels baseball squad will be under the direction of a new head coach when it returns to the diamond this fall.

The Southland Board of Education recently hired Chris McCormick as its varsity baseball coach for the upcoming school year. McCormick takes over for Matt Bailey who is departing to work at another school district.

Its a great opportunity to be a head coach close to home, said McCormick, who will also teach middle school science at Southland.

McCormick is no stranger to the region. He played high school baseball and basketball at Manila, Arkansas. After he graduated Manila High School in 2004 he earned a degree in education at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas. He coached middle school girls basketball at Paragould High School last season.

McCormick has also served stints in Iraq and Afghanistan with the National Guard in recent years.

It taught me a lot about leadership and how to talk to individuals and get their perspectives, McCormick said of his time with the National Guard.

McCormick inherits a baseball program that graduated four of the 14 players on its high school squad, including three starters in 2020.

Im hoping some of our incoming freshmen can fill in some of those gaps, McCormick said.

Southland is in search of its first winning baseball season since the spring of 2016 when it went 5-4. It did not have a spring season in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

They havent had a winning record in a few years, McCormick said. Wed like to find a way to get a few wins this year and keep adding wins every year.

McCormick plans to meet with his players at Southland for the first time on July 8.

Im hoping I can get them more enthusiastic about athletics - baseball and basketball, he said.

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