E.A. Sports Today

White Plains moves

Wildcats’ year of change continues with change atop the softball program less than a week after team played in state tournament

By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

White Plains’ big year of coaching transition continued this week with a change atop the softball program, which played in the state tournament last week.

Lex Hull-Muncher, who served as an assistant this past season, is interim head coach, taking over for former head coach Tiffany Williams.

A permanent head coach is expected to be voted on at the June 6 Calhoun County Board of Education meeting. Same for the girls’ basketball program, with Clay Sprayberry serving as interim head coach after Matt Ford stepped back from coaching in March.

White Plains has seen varsity head coaching changes in football, volleyball, girls’ basketball, baseball and softball during the 2022-23 school year.

The Calhoun County Board of Education approved former Donoho and Sylacauga head coach Jamie Clendenin’s hiring for volleyball last week. Blake Jennings, a long-time football assistant and baseball head coach at Ohatchee, is White Plains’ new head coach in both sports.

“In the 18 years I’ve been an administrator, there’s probably not been this many changes (in one year),” White Plains principal Andy Ward said. “I guess with change comes some excitement, as well, and that’s nothing against the people that’s been coaching these sports. They’re all great people, and I’ve certainly enjoyed working with them.”

Transitions started this time a year ago, when long-time softball coach Rachel Ford, for whom the team’s field is named, announced she would step back from coaching to spend more time following her children’s sports careers.

Williams was promoted to replace Rachel Ford and guided White Plains to a 31-16 record in 2023. The Wildcats won area and regional titles and overcame three season-ending injuries to reach the state tournament for the first time since 2019.

Williams also teaches math and will transition from the high school to the middle school.

“The situation was, in our community, we needed her to go down to the middle school to teach math,” Ward said. “When you’re on a different campus, it’s very difficult to keep up with the workouts and the things that have to be done in order to be an effective head coach.

“Coach Williams understands that. It’s not a situation where she did a poor job or really softball related at all. It’s a situation where she was needed elsewhere, and I think she understands that, and she’s fine with the transition.”

Cover photo: Tiffany Williams talks to White Plains’ softball team after the Wildcats completed play in the state tournament Friday at Choccolocco Park. (Photo by Joe Medley)

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