By Tim Chambers
A familiar face will take over the reins as head baseball coach at Hampton next year. Nicholas Perkins was tabbed last week to replace Matthew Hardin after the Bulldogs reached the sub-state in his final campaign.
Perkins told the Johnson City Press, “Hardin decided he wanted to be a dad to his son and standout player Gavin Hardin during his senior year. He wanted to watch him play.”
Perkins is no stranger to Johnson County. The 36-year-old resident currently teaches special education at Hampton High School and is involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
He served as an assistant coach at Happy Valley High School and Johnson County High School before moving on to the college level at Emory & Henry as a volunteer.
He has worked numerous camps at the college level including ones at ETSU and the University of Tennessee. Perkins has also been involved working with the National Pitching Association.
Ironically another Johnson County resident had some success as the Bulldogs’ skipper. Former Longhorn Doug Phillips put together three successful teams during a span before classification came into play.
His 1975 squad finished 12-6 with six sophomores in the starting lineup. They defeated Elizabethton that year 6-1, the first time in school history.
His ‘76 squad was 17-7 and knocked off Elizabethton during the first round of the District tournament at the current Elizabethton Twins’ Park. They lost to Science Hill with former University of Tennessee basketball standout Gary Carter on the mound.
His best season was in 1977 when his team finished 19-9, playing its strongest schedule ever.
I want to extend a tip of the hat to Perkins for his selection to guide the Bulldogs. He’s worked his way up the ladder.
I feel like the Bulldogs found the right man to lead their program.