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Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / Red Bank head coach Mandi Munn talks with her outfielders before the game. Red Bank played Lexinton in TSSAA Spring Fling softball at the Starplex in Murfreesboro on May 26, 2021.

Mandi Munn can walk away from the softball diamond with a sense of peace.

After leading the Red Bank High School softball program for over 20 seasons, Munn has turned the keys to the program over to former Lady Lion and recent UTC standout Hannah Wood.

"This is really unique because I played for Red Bank and UTC before coming back to coach here," said Munn, who was hired in 2000 by RBHS. "Hannah is on the same path I was. She has always been a Red Bank kid and I am comfortable leaving the program in her hands. Hannah was always such a patient player and a team player who was willing to help and coach everyone on the field. I couldn't imagine a more perfect fit."

Wood, 21, was a star on the Lady Lions' 2018 softball team that won 33 games as she hit .557 with 16 home runs and had 22 wins with 148 strikeouts.

Over the past two seasons Wood compiled 11 wins and a 3.09 earned run average over 190 2/3 innings in which she only allowed 13 home runs. She had a career-best 2.83 ERA this spring for the Lady Mocs.

"Coach Munn is a huge reason my love for Red Bank started," said Wood, who is getting married this weekend. "She was my softball and volleyball coach my first couple of years and was my softball coach until I graduated. When I think of a great coach, she is the first person I think of.

"She always believed in her players and most importantly loved her players for who they were and not their performance. I plan on modeling how I coach largely off of the experiences I had playing for Coach Munn."

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Umpiring Assigner Larry Bateman, left, shakes hands with Red Bank head coach Mandi Munn after presenting her with the Terry Cordell Memorial Softball Sportsmanship before their game against Tyner at Red Bank High School on Monday, April 30, 2018 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Munn will still be an asset for the young head coach as the veteran coach will still serve as Red Bank's athletic director.

The ultimate highlight in Munn's coaching career was delivering the Lady Lions' second TSSAA state championship in 2005 by shocking Soddy-Daisy with a 3-0 win in the Class AAA title game.

"I can still picture all of the girls on that team and all they went through that year to become state champions," Munn said. "Soddy-Daisy had beaten us five times that season. They took their knocks, but they didn't quit and ended up on top. That was so special because those seniors were freshmen when I took over the job."

Munn's incredible ride with the Lady Lions included a fourth-place finish at the Class AA state tournament in 2021. That year's team only had nine players in the preseason and had to recruit more to help field a team that could compete in case of injuries.

"I have been blessed with some great girls and great teams," Munn added. "Not all of them have been top of the line athletes, but ones who had great heart and work ethics. This has really been a special chapter in my life for sure."

Contact Patrick MacCoon at pmaccoon@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.

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