Kyle Counts never lost his passion for baseball.
Even though he went to college to play football and was hired at Chestatee High in the fall of 2008 to also serve as an assistant football coach, he was also involved with the War Eagles baseball program as an assistant coach.
“I played baseball from the time I was 5 until I was 18,” Counts said. “I had to leave baseball behind since I was coaching football, but I feel back in love with the game.”
On Thursday, Counts was announced as the War Eagles’ new baseball coach. He was hired earlier in the day after meeting with the school’s principal Chip Underwood and athletics director Stan Williams. Counts takes over for former coach Wes Gentry, who stepped down after the 2012 season.
“I’m excited to help this program continue to grow and pick up where Coach Gentry left off,” Counts said. “He did a great job with the program.”
Counts takes over a War Eagles program that finished this season with a 4-21 record and has no rising seniors. He says improving the record is a goal, along with that of the image of the student-athlete in the program.
“We’re going to be young next year and we have a lot of work to do,” Counts said. “We’ve got to start with working on the fundamentals of the game.”
Even though Chestatee will be moving up to Class AAAA next season, it comes from Region 8-AAA where it played against North Hall and Gainesville regularly. He says that level of baseball speaks volumes for the reputation of baseball in Hall County, and the direction which he wants to guide his new program.
Coaching baseball is not Counts’ first head-coaching experience. He spent one season as the lacrosse coach at North Forsyth High in 2008, along with one year before that as the school’s assistant coach. He feels like that experience as a head coach can translate into working with the War Eagles’ baseball program in his new role.
Counts plans to continue to coach the safeties and work with the special teams with the War Eagles football program in the fall.