After two years at Newton High School, Rams’ baseball coach Vincent Byams is moving on at the end of the 2012-13 school year.
Byams will take over as Tucker’s baseball coach in 2013-14, working closer to his DeKalb County home and at what was the rival of his high school – Clarkson.
“It was a real strain to go back and forth from Newton to Tucker,” Byams said.
Byams said his assistant Andre Bird will take over as the Rams head coach starting next season.
Byams was approached about the Tucker position, and after the interview felt it was a good fit, both for his commute and coaching career.
Tucker is a similar situation to Byams’ other coaching stops, including Newton, Miller Grove for two years prior to that and at MLK before that.
MLK was a struggling baseball program before Byams led it to two region titles, and Miller Grove was a brand new program, which three years later reached the state playoffs. Newton hadn’t reached the state playoffs since the 2009 season, and in Byams first year in 2011, the Rams went 13-13 before reaching the state playoffs this year.
The Tucker Tigers finished 9-15 in 2013 under coach Robert Gonzalez and last reached the playoffs in 2007.
“I think being that I’m from DeKalb County a lot of people have seen me and know me as a head coach and my body of work throughout the years, as both a head coach and an assistant coach,” Byams said. “When (Tucker’s) athletic director calls you in about the position, I knew I had to sit down and look at the opportunity.”
Byams is familiar with Tucker and its winning past, something he wants to recreate at the Class AAAAA school.
“Tucker has been a really, really strong sports community, and even though baseball has been down for a couple years, Tucker has always been a good baseball school,” Byams said. “I’ll be able to help revitalize the winning tradition at Tucker.”
He was able to bring some wins to Newton, along with getting some of his players in to college, such as Ryan McCranie, Sherman Graves and Tripp Loftin.
“The fondest memories is the guys – building the relationship with the guys,” Byams said of his time at Newton. ”Also, giving me a chance to reestablish a winning tradition – I know we didn’t have a winning record but we were able to make the playoffs in spite of all the injuries we had.”