published Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Polk County coach Michael Carter takes Rebels job

Michael Carter has resigned as baseball coach at Polk County to accept the same position at Franklin County.

"This is an opportunity professionally that I had to take. It's tough to leave Polk County, but I'm excited about going to Franklin County," Carter said.

He was an assistant to Bill Triplett for three seasons before taking over as head coach the past two seasons, when he compiled a 35-29 record.

"We had some good runs. This past year is the only year in my time here we didn't make the region," Carter said.

The Wildcats finished first in District 5-AA two years ago and were runners-up this past season.

"The support at Polk was really good from [former principal] Dr. Jason Bell, who's now in the central office, to Dr. James Jones, the director of schools," Carter said. "If the baseball team ever needed anything, they were always willing to work for us.

"Too, the booster club worked really hard, and while it's sometimes hard to raise funds in a small town, they did a good job of making it as easy as possible on a coach."

The Rebels job in Winchester all but felt into his lap.

"I wasn't looking to move. I got a call from a guy over there asking if I'd be interested," the former McMinn Central standout said. "I talked with the principal and they offered me the job. I think they were looking for a young guy. I know they've had some good talent, but I think they've had some coaching instability that kept that talent from being developed."

Franklin County is in a tough baseball district with the likes of Tullahoma, Shelbyville and Columbia Central.

"I know they play really good baseball in the Middle Tennessee area, and I have always thought I'd like to coach in that area eventually," Carter said. "Too, they play at the old Tennessee Tomahawks Park, a minor league stadium that holds about 2,000 people.

"There are a couple of older gentlemen that do a lot of the baseball field work, and I'll be working with them. I wouldn't know how to act if I didn't have a field to take care of. And I've been told that their booster club is quite active."

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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