West Hall High has named Dustin Rennspies its new head baseball coach, athletic director Scott Justus announced Tuesday.
Rennspies, 38, comes to the Spartans from Mosley High in Panama City Beach, Fla., where he graduated in 1991 and also served as an assistant coach for the past four seasons after getting his masters degree in education leadership. He said he plans to move up to the area at the end of July.
Rennspies, who was drafted as a catcher and a pitcher in the MLB First-Year Player Draft, played minor league baseball in the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves organizations from 1992-1996. Later he spent time as an assistant coach at Jefferson Davis Junior College in Alabama and at Chipola College in Florida before returning to Mosley High in his most recent role.
Rennspies replaces Pete Allen, whose team finished the 2012 regular season at 7-16. He will also be a special education teacher at the high school.
This will be his first head coaching job, although Justus said he’s already well qualified.
“His resume is impeccable; the guy’s baseball experience and knowledge of the game was something I felt we needed,” said Justus, who added that Rennspies and himself talked baseball for hours during the interview. “We made a commitment to the community that we are going to hire the best possible head coaches at West Hall.
The only thing I needed to do was to make sure he was a good teacher, and he is education first. He’s committed to not only developing good baseball players, but good men.”
And he’s also ready to put down roots in the community.
“Me and my wife were looking to set down roots, start a family, and I wanted to be a head coach,” said Rennspies, whose wife Teresa is expecting the couple’s first child in July. “We really fell in love with the area around Lake Lanier, felt like it was a good place to set down roots and start a family.”
The commitment to the organization was a key point for Justus, even beyond his prior success.
“He’s won national championships, he’s won state championships, how do you argue with that?” Justus said. “And he really wants to be here, he’s committed to moving to the community; that’s the biggest thing.
“Like with (West Hall football) coach Lotti, the passion and what they brought to the table wasn’t about wins and losses, it’s what they can do.”
Rennspies said his background gives him a wealth of knowledge to impart to his players.
“My father was a great baseball person, he helped me get to that point, and I was blessed to have a lot a lot of great coaching in the minors, to learn a lot about the game, and not just one position,” he said. “And the high school and college coaches I worked with taught me a lot about the coaching side of it, about coaching kids.
“I’m going to coach and teach everything that I’ve learned from the college and pro level. I want my kids to take in the knowledge and apply it as best they can, and enjoy the game of baseball and hopefully they’ll become better players. If talent allows them to get to the next level then that’s great, but if not I want to give them the talents to be good coaches down the road.”
Justus said he’s excited to see what kind of product Rennspies can put on the field. The West Hall athletic director added that, after new head girls and boys soccer coaches, a new head football coach and now a new head baseball coach, that the coaching positions should be pretty well set for the fall. And even though he’s a former coach himself, Justus said he’ll let Rennspies do the coaching on the diamond.
“We’re totally set, and I’m excited about it,” Justus added. “We may be able to pick up a lay coach here or there, but he is now the head baseball coach at West Hall High School. It is now the Dustin Rennspies era, and we’re really excited.”