published Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Brad Weir back in area to coach at Dade

TRENTON, Ga. — At this point in his professional career, Brad Weir has a certain expectation when he considers taking a new position.

The former Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School baseball star was able to fill his two biggest needs by accepting the head coaching position at Dade County. The first one is personal. Weir's father died last year, and he wanted to be closer to his mother.

Professionally, the 13-year head coach enjoys a challenge. The Wolverines have had spotty success, and Weir will be their third head coach in four years. Having taken previous schools McIntosh County, Wayne County and Eastside to the postseason, Weir's first order of business is to instill a winning expectation.

"I don't care what happened here the past seven or eight years," he said after his hiring was approved Monday night by the Dade County Board of Education. "It's my program now. I like to build things, and there is great potential here.

"I remember when I was in high school and you would see Dade County [then called Northwest Georgia] on the schedule and you knew you would be in for a seven-inning battle. The kids here have always been tough, and that's what I'm counting on."

Weir and current Dade County athletic director Bradley Warren worked together at McIntosh.

"Bradley was a huge selling point because I know he does things the right way, and he's all about sharing athletes," Weir said. "It was great that, during the interview process, the entire administration was on board with what we want to do. They just want to win, and hopefully we can put a good product on the field."

When the position opened again, Warren knew right away who the ideal candidate was.

"Brad's a tremendous hire for Dade County," he said. "We worked well together before, and we share the same goals. He's going to do a great job here."

Brooker takes over Lady Bruins

Jason Brooker has replaced Shane Ramsey as head softball coach at Northwest Whitfield. Ramsey, who resigned for personal reasons, took the Lady Bruins to three consecutive Class AAAA playoff berths, including two top-four finishes.

"It was the toughest decision I've ever made, but I want to spend more time with my three sons," Ramsey said. "I know Jason, who is a good friend of mine, will do a good job."

Brooker, who teaches in the Whitfield County system, is a former baseball and softball assistant at Northwest.

Wood new Ridgeland assistant

Ridgeland softball coach Scott Harden announced the hiring of Richie Wood as his assistant coach. Wood comes from Soddy-Daisy Middle School and also worked with the state champion high school team.

"He's already jumped right in, and I can tell he's a very hard worker," Harden said. "He's a good coach, a good educator and a good person, so it's a very solid hire. Coming from Soddy-Daisy, you know he knows how to win, and that's what we're trying to do here."

Harden also noted that recently retired Soddy-Daisy coach Clifford Kirk will work with the Lady Panthers this summer.

"He's going to help us now and then. Who knows? We'll see," Harden said. "Just getting to learn from someone like Clifford Kirk is great."

about Lindsey Young...

Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...

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