Massey Resigns As Head Coach
By Brandon Reed
Following a rough year for the Commerce Tigers baseball program, coach Walt Massey has announced he will no longer be the head coach for the program.
Massey will continue to teach math at CHS, but says he will not be involved in the athletic side.
“I just couldn’t honestly do the job as well as it needs to be done, as far as the time commitments,” Massey said. “I just thought the program would be better served if they gave somebody else an opportunity to run with it.”
Massey said he let his team know of his decision on May 2, the day after winning 4-2 against Prince Avenue.
The team managed to finish on a high note after struggling through a 5-16 overall season, going 5-13 in the region. By contrast, in 2007, the team went 11-12 overall, and 10-8 in the region.
Massey said he hopes the change to a purely academic focus will make him a better teacher.
“That’s where my number one responsibility is,” he said. “But I’ll still be around. It’s a small school, I still know all the players, and I’ll keep up with them.”
Massey was blunt when it came to talking about the effect of his leaving the CHS baseball program.
“It won’t be hard to replace me,” he said. “Those kids do all the work. There’s a good group coming up as well, so somebody is going to land into a good situation. I think the program is better off than it was a year or two ago. Coach Cash left me with some talent coming up. It was a smooth transition from him to me, and hopefully it will be smooth transition from me to the next guy.”
Massey says as far as best moments, there are a couple of wins that stand out for him.
“The Athens Academy win at home last year, winning against Social Circle at home last year,” he said. “The last game that I coached against Prince Avenue was really a good memory for me. But that’s just strictly talking about baseball. The days on the practice field when there’s nobody else there, just me and the team, and the times in the summer. The things that most people wouldn’t consider to be very glamorous are the ones you enjoy the most, because you have so many more of those. The games could go either way. We played so many close games. If the final score dictated what I considered to be a good memory or a bad memory, you couldn’t stay in this business very long at all.
“I got to know the players, and they got to know me outside of school. I hope that we forged relationships that will last for a long while.”
Massey says there are things that he hopes his players take with them from his time as coach.
“There are two things that we kept saying,” he said. “There’s no right way to do a wrong thing, and if doing right were easy, more people would do it. You have to identify the things you have complete control over, not necessarily winning or losing, but your attitude, your work ethic, your professionalism. The things that are completely in your control, there’s no excuse for failing at that. The results are based on luck sometimes, and not always indicative of the process. The process is much more important than the results.”
Massey said he’s not closing the door on the possibility of coaching again in the future.
“I’ve still got a really good taste in my mouth. We had some good experiences, and if we ever get back in it, I’ll be better for it,” he said. “I think I grew as a coach each year that I was in it. There are some things I would do differently.
“Some of the things that I wish I had done a little bit better can only be remedied with a fresh start. Some things were not going to improve except for completely starting over. If the opportunity comes along here or somewhere else, I’ll entertain it. But I’m content with where I’m at right now.”