By Andy Reed
Tony Long has been named to coach Lebanon High's baseball program.
Long, 55, comes to LHS from Naples, Fla., where he served as coach at Palmetto Ridge High School. The Goodlettsville native coached White House to the 2000 TSSAA Class AA championship with former Cumberland third baseman Mark Mills, a White House native who succeeded Long as head coach there in 2003, as his assistant.
"He's been very successful everywhere he's been," Lebanon athletic director Darian Brown said Tuesday. "He took a program that was struggling and in bad shape and took it to a state championship in three years.
"He's been a district coach of the year multiple times. He's been a state coach of the year."
While driving to Tennessee from Florida, Long hinted talent isn't the most important attribute in a program.
"I'm a real believer in team chemistry," Long said. "That 2000 bunch at White House made me a big believer in that.
"I'd like to run a program our school and community can be proud of. I don't know how much ability and talent we have, but we can all hustle."
Long, who will teach special ed at LHS, replaces Brian Black, who was relieved of his duties in May after two years on the job. The Blue Devils went 8-22 in 2013 and 11-24 during Black's two seasons.
"I like to play good competition," Long said. "I think it pays off at the end of the year. It's been proven to me time and time again.
"I'm looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting down to work."
Baseball is the third sport Brown has hired a head coach for this summer, joining soccer and wrestling. Softball is still pending and an announcement is expected any time, now, the AD said.
Brown said tryouts for baseball and softball will be held next Monday and Tuesday. Baseball tryouts will go from 3-5 p.m. both days and softball from 4-7 p.m.