COVINGTON, Ga. — Take the interim tag off of Brandon Crumbley's title.
After a meeting with Eastside principal Jeff Cher and athletic director Phil Davidson, the Eastside baseball coach who guided the Eagles to a Sweet 16 finish and Region 4-AAAA runner-up showing during the 2018 season after being abruptly put in place to relieve former coach Bruce Evans was officially named the Eagles full-time head coach.
The official announcement came to Crumbley back on May 8, less than a week after ending its season with two close losses at West Laurens in the Class AAAA state playoffs. Crumbley was able to tell his team of the good news last Wednesday.
And while Crumbley says he’s grateful to have the job full time, he also appreciates having the chance to serve on an interim basis.
“I kind of feel like it was a good thing to have that interim tag, actually, because it gave me the chance to get that first year out of the way,” Crumbley said. “It gave me a chance to look back on the things I’d do differently and the things I learned, but on the flip side, it was good too because we got the chance to implement a lot of things we want to do.”
Crumbley guided Eastside to a 26-6 record overall with a 15-3 mark in Region 4-AAAA play. He helped Eastside accomplish a 16-game winning streak along the way, and looks to have several players named to all-region and all-area teams.
But now’s not the time to rest on laurels, Crumbley says. Although he’ll lose six seniors to graduation, he’s got a good chunk of promising talent returning, and those players are already gearing up for a busy summer of travel ball.
Crumbley, himself, will have opportunity keep strengthening his coaching chops this summer as well.
“A lot of our guys will be playing with Lake Point up in Cartersville, and I’ll be coaching the 18u Team Elite in Winder, so there will be a lot of times where I’ll be coaching while they’re playing, and I’ll get to see them play.”
For those players who won’t partake in travel ball, Crumbley knows they’ll get good work in with football practice and other sports. Such duality is something he encourages.
“I encourage our guys to play football or do something different,” he said. “Take time off of baseball, get bigger and faster. Especially when guys practice football, it gives them the chance to work on their feet, and that plays into our game of baseball. I think it helps our guys to take time off and do other things that make them better athletes.”
Meanwhile, Crumbley said he feels good about the pool of talent he’s got returning, as well as other gifted players making there way up through the middle school ranks. And now that year one of his tenure is out of the way, Crumbley says he’s focused on building Eastside’s program into something fans, parents and players a like can be proud of.
“The great thing about this is now we get to keep building and laying our foundation and just establishing a winning culture,” he said. “Some people may think I’m crazy, but I truly believe we can build something special at Eastside the next few years. A lot of people may not believe that, but I believe it and now I have the chance to pass it along to the kids.”