The possibility of a career move was definitely in Wes Stone’s future.
The one he took wasn’t necessarily on his radar screen just a few weeks ago.
Stone, assistant football and head baseball coach at South Pittsburg, has left the Pirates for teaching/coaching positions at Boyd-Buchanan.
The 38-year-old Stone, who already is working with the Bucs’ football team as a defensive coach, at various times was either the offensive or defensive coach with the Pirates. South Pittsburg has been a perennial state championship contender for decades.
This past season Stone guided the Pirates’ baseball team to 24-12 overall record and won the District 6-A regular season and tournament titles. They lost to Silverdale Academy in the Region 3-A championship and Goodpasture in the sectional. Silverdale and Goodpasture reached the Class A state tournament.
Boyd-Buchanan won 29 of 40 games last season and lost to Goodpasture in the state tournament.
At Boyd-Buchanan, Stone is expected to work in a player development capacity at the high school and middle school levels and handle other duties with the baseball team, according to the school’s athletic website.
“There was some teacher shakeup coming in the county, moving teachers around and I was one of those teachers who might’ve been moved to another school,” Stone said Thursday. “It was definitely a possibility and I didn’t want to sit around and wait so I started looking around for what would be best for me and my family.
“There were several opportunities, but the chance to get into a school like Boyd-Buchanan became an easy choice.”
In Stone’s time with South Pittsburg’s football team, the Pirates compiled a 132-35 record and reached the state playoffs 12 times, winning two state titles. From 2009-11, the Pirates played for a state championship, winning it all in 2010.
Stone began his football duties at Boyd-Buchanan on Monday.
“We are very excited to have a person with good character, a great work ethic and a guy with state championship experience join our football program,” Bucs coach Grant Reynolds said. “He’s going to be a great addition to our staff.”
Reynolds said Stone will work with the defensive line and linebackers. Reynolds is the team’s defensive coordinator, but Stone will “help me with those duties, especially the four down guys.”
Added Reynolds, “The thing I want to convey is that Wes knows how to coach kids and motivate people to do great things. With those qualities he would be a great addition to any staff.”
Bucs baseball coach Josh Rider has welcomed Stone to the staff, although some of the details of what he will be doing still must be worked out.
“I didn’t know about coach Stone on the front end when he applied to teach at Boyd-Buchanan,” Rider said. “He got the job last week and he’s going to be helping the baseball program in some form or fashion. We’ve got time to work things out, but he’s going to be a big boost to our team.”
Rider was familiar with Stone since the Pirates and Bucs have squared off numerous times over the years.
“We played them in my first year (2006) and they weren’t very good,” Rider said. “But he’s taken that team to two state tournaments. He turned South Pittsburg baseball around.”
Stone, a South Pittsburg graduate, won four district and two region baseball titles with the Pirates while amassing a 162-50-4 record.
“I grew up a Pirate and been a Pirate all my life,” Stone said. “Coming out of college (Tennessee-Chattanooga and Lincoln Memorial), South Pittsburg is the only place I wanted to be. I’ve got a lot of friends here, I still live here and my wife (Glenna) is a teacher at South Pittsburg Elementary School. And I’ve got a lot of great memories, but sometimes change is good and to go from South Pittsburg to Boyd-Buchanan and be able to teach and coach is a real blessing. I’m really excited.”
The Stones have four children -- Jake (19), Jared (11), Jace (7) and Jackson (2). Jake graduated from South Pittsburg in 2013 and currently attends and plays baseball at Tennessee Temple University.
In other news, the Bucs’ baseball team will play another game at AT&T Field next season on July 11 against Sonoraville High out of Calhoun, Ga. This past season Boyd-Buchanan played Calhoun High at the home of the Lookouts, Class AA affiliates of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Game time will be 7 p.m.
The Phoenix, coached by Deron Walraven, compete in the rugged Region 5B-3A, which also includes Cartersville and Ringgold. They went 15-12 overall, 11-3 in region play and lost to North Hall in a best-of-three series in the state playoffs.
(E-mail Larry Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @larryfleming44)