Willingham embraces challenge as Mars Hill Head Coach

Former Major League player the Head Coach at High School Alma Mater
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 5:22 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - From the big leagues to where it all started. North Alabama native Josh Willingham announced as the new Head baseball coach at his High School Alma Mater Mars Hill Bible.

“It’s a little bit weird, it’s super exciting,” Willingham said. “To start your baseball career playing at this High School, and then get the chance to come back and lead the program is pretty special. So I’m super excited, can’t wait to get started.”

Willingham played his College baseball at UNA, where he was a two time All-American, before embarking on a professional baseball career that began in 2000. After his playing career Josh returned home and joined the High School Football team coaching staff under Darrell Higgins. When longtime baseball coach Jay Mitchell left to become a girls basketball coach at Haleyville, Willingham knew he had to embrace the challenge.

“If you ask me once I got out of the big leagues if I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to coach my kids,”Willingham added. “But there’s something about coaching that brings out the competitive spirit just like playing did, and that’s what I enjoyed about it. After Coach (Darrell) Higgins asked me to help him in 2016, it was a no two or three times in a row. What it did was allow me to understand the blessing that coaching brings to me and hopefully to the kids I’m coaching.”

Willingham takes over a program that has won five State baseball Championships, the most recent in 2019.

“The program is already established. Coach (Jay) Mitchell did an unbelievable job at this. I just gotta take what he did and continue to hopefully try to build on it. I get to embark some of that knowledge on these kids. teach them how to be better baseball players, hopefully how to be better men, husbands in the future. and that’s what’s really my goal is. I want to win baseball games, I want to win everyone that I can play, but I want to teach these kids how to be successful in life.”

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