A new face will be in the Lady Leopards dugout come softball season.
Dean Goodwin will take the reins as the head coach of the Banks County softball program this fall as he looks to build upon the experience the team has gained under the leadership of Josh Lord.
With 15 years of coaching experience from college ball and AAAAA schools to A schools, Goodwin is looking forward to getting started with the Lady Leopards.
“[Banks County] has had a good bit of success and what we need to do is keep that success and build the program even more.” Goodwin continued, “It is not about winning or losing but about building the program and the players knowing your expectations.”
The Lady Leopards will have some high expectations to reach as they get accustomed to Goodwin’s style and coaching manner. The summer will prove to be a very important time for the softball program as Goodwin sets his expectations and the athletes get to know him.
Coaching clinics and camps for players are some of the summer activities that Goodwin hopes will help the community, players and parents buy into the program.
“Hopefully I can bring a lot of experience to the position and push the girls over to do well,” said Goodwin. “I know we have a very good group of girls and a very supportive administration. … My philosophy has always been to play to the next level.”
Goodwin said he is looking forward to adding components to the program to take the team to the next level.
“The foundation has already been laid,” Goodwin said. “Coach Lord has done a great job to get the program where it is now. I just want to add to that. We build character and work ethic and the winning will take care of itself.”
One component will be a deeper integration with the county recreation department to challenge softball players to prepare them for the high school.
“To build a truly successful program, our school system and Rec department have to work hand-in-hand,” said Goodwin. “That will be the key factor to seeing a difference for years to come.”
Another change coming for the team is more intense practices designed to prepare the Lady Leopards for a college level of play.
“I try to run my practices and my program like college ball,” Goodwin said. “If someone wants to go play at the next level they can because we prepare them for that.”
Another big goal that Goodwin has already set is that he wants Banks County to win the state championship.
“I expect to win the state championship next year. I will do everything in my power to do that.”
“I set the bar high, but I think that every bar I set is reachable if everybody works and I think we will be just fine.”