Sweetwater High School is in the hunt for a new baseball coach.
Wildcats head coach Chris Armstrong is resigning from his position to take the head coach job at Carter High School. He informed his players in a team-only meeting on Monday.
“Me and my wife prayed about it and we had to do what was best for our family,” Armstrong told The Advocate and Democrat. “It worked out that way.”
Armstrong said that when the Carter job came open, he and his wife talked it over and discussed the possibility of moving closer to home.
“The biggest thing is we’re moving back towards home,” Armstrong said. “It’s easier for me and her. It’s easier to see the family.”
Armstrong headed Sweetwater’s program for three seasons, finishing his tenure with a 69-38 overall record. The Wildcats went 24-9 this past season and were eliminated by Meigs County in the District 5-AA tournament this season.
Sweetwater made it to the Class AA sectionals in 2017, the farthest point the Wildcats reached in the postseason under Armstrong.
“I loved it here,” Armstrong said. “I really did. I didn’t plan on going anywhere. It kills me to have to leave this group of boys after everything we’ve been through. But we came here, tried to work on facilities, tried to turn the baseball program to all-time new heights. And we succeeded that.
“When it’s time to go, it’s time to go, and it just happened to be now … I want to thank Coach (Mike) Martin and Coach (Eric) Weaver for the opportunity. I appreciate everything that they’ve done for me and giving me the opportunity to come here and be able to do what we’ve done.”
Sweetwater Athletic Director Mike Martin said interviews to fill the opening will start this week and a replacement is expected to be found within two weeks.
Carter’s baseball team was 11-16 this past season.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Armstrong said. “It’s a good baseball school. It’s close to home. It just happened to work out.
“There weren’t very many schools that were going to lead me away from here. (Carter) and Gibbs were probably the two that I would be interested in. That’s just because we’d be moving close to family, so that was the biggest draw.”
Armstrong said that he values working with players, getting to know them and being close with them. It’s why he coaches.
“The biggest thing I will remember (about time at Sweetwater) is these boys,” Armstrong said. “I love them to death. They’re family to me. We preached that every day. We’re a family, and they still will be.
“They always will be.”