The Banks County diamond Leopards secured their third consecutive winning season this year on the field and the stage is set for next season as the Leopards return several players, but the fate of the team will rest on another coach’s shoulders as head coach Joe Lord announced he is stepping down.
“After 10 years of coaching high school baseball, the time has come for me to hand over the reigns to someone else,” Lord said.
Lord has spent the last six years serving as the diamond Leopards’ head coach and three years prior as an assistant for the BCHS baseball program.
During his tenure, Banks County has progressed from an 0-15 ball club to a winning team, that earned a 2009 bid for the state playoffs into the second round. This season, the Leopards capped a 14-12 season last week.
“It seems like yesterday when I started, and I look back on the last 10 years wondering where the time has gone,” said Lord. “I have other personal and professional endeavors that I need to attend to at this point in my life and a career that will require my time and energy.”
Lord also said that the Banks County program is very dear to him.
“I have a tremendous love and passion for these players and this program, and I wish them all nothing but continued success,” he said. “The foundation is set for next year and beyond, and there are a lot more answers than questions moving forward.”
While there has not been any official word about filling the position, but whoever steps up will have a strong foundation to build on.
Lord said he was thankful for the many great experiences during his tenure as head coach, adding, “I am proud of the positive strides we were able to make over the years.”