E.A. Sports Today

Henderson tabbed for White Plains baseball

[corner-ad id=2]Oxford assistant will be recommended for board approval at a specially called meeting Thursday

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Oxford assistant baseball coach Wes Henderson has been offered the White Plains head coaching job and will join the program next week pending approval of the Calhoun County school board at a specially called meeting Thursday.

He replaces Chad Hudson, who left earlier this month for the Arab baseball job. East Alabama Sports Today first reported Henderson as the leading candidate two weeks ago.

“We interviewed seven or eight for the position and … he’s the best fit in the classroom and the baseball field,” White Plains principal Andy Ward said Monday, the day the posting closed. “I think he’s got great ideas. He can come to White Plains and pick up where Coach Hudson left off.”

Henderson was an all-state player at Oxford who played collegiately at Alabama. He also has been coaching with the Excel Baseball Academy, where his team just completed a 22-12 summer.

He was Oxford’s head junior varsity coach this past season, assistant varsity hitting coach and oversaw the Yellow Jackets’ outfielders and corner infielders. He was a volunteer assistant for the Jackets in 2011 and was in their dugout for their 2012 state championship win. He declined to comment on the offer Monday.

He will join a White Plains program that finished as the odd-man-out in a three-team race for two area playoff spots and returns the bulk of its roster.

“He knows expectations are pretty high,” Ward said.

His hiring was hailed in several corridors of the baseball and coaching community.

“You’ve got a guy who spent four years playing SEC baseball, and now he’s a head coach in Calhoun County; that just stepped up the game of baseball in Calhoun County,” Oxford baseball coach Wes Brooks said. “Chad Hudson did an outstanding job at Saks and White Plains, but to me, the game of baseball in Calhoun County went up a notch by White Plains hiring Wes Henderson.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he had immediate success. You know about the five-tool player. I think you’ve got a five-tool coach in Wes. He is a young high-energy guy, he’s going to bring a lot to the table, and he’s going to get them excited about playing the game. A lot of head coaches would be upset about it, but I fist-pumped when some of our assistants go on to be a head coach.”

Actually, Henderson is the second former Oxford player and Brooks assistant to recently land a head baseball coaching job in the immediate area. Chandler Tyree was hired at Munford after joining the football staff there as defensive coordinator. Brooks said the three have plans to get together over the Christmas holidays to talk baseball shop.

Henderson’s teaching specialty — history — also made him attractive to the Wildcats. He also will be an assistant varsity football coach.

“I’m glad we got somebody of the quality Coach Henderson brings because the process happened so late in the season,” Ward said. “We felt our program could attract some quality people.

“We had several more interviews today and we completed them this is the guy we want to be a part of our program. He wants to be a part of the program. It seemed like a perfect fit for us.”

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