With just a short couple of months to find a replacement for their recently vacated baseball coach position, Eastside Athletic Director Dr. Bruce McCollum and Principal Jeff Cher had a difficult task in front of them.
Fast forward to Monday and that task was proven to be much easier than expected.
Eastside introduced its newest baseball coach to media, players and booster club members at the Eastside High media center.
Jon Ayres comes to the Eagles with 21 years of experience, ranging from a state champion high school coach, an assistant coach and a scout with the Atlanta Braves.
Ayres, whose most recent stop was as an assistant coach in Naples, Fla., happened to be looking for a job since his wife recently was hired in Atlanta. The two have since moved to Lilburn and Ayers is eager to get started with the Eagles.
"I feel very comfortable here and I feel very welcomed," Ayres said.
Ayres replaces Brad Weir, who stepped down after the conclusion of the 2012 season. The Eagles finished the year with a 22-6 record and a first-round exit in the state playoffs. The second-seeded Eagles fell to Harlem 12-2 and 3-1 after putting together a nine-game winning streak. It was the fourth straight state playoff appearance for Eastside. Ayres will look to carry on the winning ways at Eastside, bringing more than two decades of experience and a winning attitude.
His most recent position was as an assistant coach at First Baptist Academy in Naples, Fla. for the last two years. Ayres began his coaching career at St. John Newman High School in Naples before returning to his home state of New York. There he coached Free Academy in Owego, N.Y., where he won the state championship in 1997. Following his successful tenure in Owego, Ayres returned to Naples to lead Gulf Coast High for seven years.
"I started that program from scratch, it was a brand new school to the community in Naples," Ayres said.
His success continued at Gulf Coast High as he held various camps and worked as an associate scout with the Braves, a job he feels fits in well with his coaching abilities.
"It all goes together in recognizing talent and what players need to work on to get better," Ayres said.
While at Eastside, Ayres will make sure his players constantly get better and enter each game as prepared as possible.
"We want to play the game the right way with sportsmanship," Ayres said. "You don't want to lose ballgames because you're unprepared and because we didn't come ready to play."
Ayres knows the playoff tradition at Eastside and will work on continuing the post-season party for the Eagles.
"We're going to work hard and try to peak at the right time of the year to see if we can have some success I the post season," Ayres said.