SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — Social Circle has some new blood coming in to lead the baseball program next season after one of the most historic runs in school history.
Former Georgia Perimeter College head coach Danny Blue was recently named the Redskins’ head baseball coach.
“Todd McGhee gave me a call and asked if I wanted to come back,” Blue said. “It’s kind of like an old dog that wants to hunt I guess. It’s just something I’ve done all my life, and I’ve always liked it. So I figured I’d give it a shot.”
Blue has a storied career in the state of Georgia, but he might be most remembered for his success at GPA, bringing life to a program that hadn’t been competitive since 1996 when the Jaguars last went to the NJCAA World Series.
The Butts County native arrived at GPC’s Newton County campus in 2006 and after a rough first season, the Jaguars went on to win 25 games in the spring of 2007.
In 2009 GPC won the regular season championship followed by a 36-10 season in 2010.
But Blue’s last year with the club proved to be one of the best in Jaguar history. GPA won the regular season and conference tournament titles and reached the NJCAA district level for the first time since the 1999 World Series team.
The skipper began his career at his alma mater, Jackson High School, in Butts county and spent five years there.
From Jackson, Blue headed to Heritage High School in Conyers where he spent most of his career. Blue led the Patriots for 26 years, earning seven region titles, seven region Coach of the Year awards and one Georgia Coach of the Year award.
His success at the Rockdale County school earned him a bid to the Georgia High School Dugout Club Hall of Fame in 2006.
"I think I was very, very fortunate," Blue said in a 2011 interview after he announced he was stepping down as the head coach at GPC. "I always had good ballplayers. I was lucky; a lot of people don't have that situation. When I was at Jackson, they were a double-A powerhouse. I was lucky to be in a good situation there. (I) moved to Heritage, I just stepped right in the middle of a bunch of good baseball players.
"It was a great situation where I was at Heritage. It's one of those deals where everybody was going in the same direction (with) very little turmoil. I had a great time there -- nothing but great things to say about Heritage High School."
Heritage later named its baseball field “Danny Blue Field” after the longtime coach.
Blue replaces Matt Huffman, who led the Redskins on one of the most historic runs in school history. Social Circle finished the 2018 campaign with a 22-12 record, a second place finish in region 8-AA and a trip to the Elite Eight for just the second time in school history and the first time since 2006.
Blue will have plenty of talent to work with when he arrives at Social Circle. The Redskins lost just five seniors off that 2018 squad, but starters Davis Smith, Chandler Ball (2018 Covington News Pitcher of the Year), Tate Peters, David House and Conner Bailey all return in 2019.
“I heard they had a pretty good ball club last season, so I’m looking forward to getting to work with them,” Blue said. “I hope we can improve on that or at the least keep up with the success.”