Demopolis native Harris wins Coach of the Year

(Photo from Cullman Times) Wayne Harris watches as one of his Good Hope players edges off of third base. Harris, a Demopolis native, earned ASWA Class 3A Coach of the Year honors this season.

(Photo from Cullman Times)
Wayne Harris watches as one of his Good Hope players edges off of third base. Harris, a Demopolis native, earned ASWA Class 3A Coach of the Year honors this season.

Demopolis native Wayne Harris took home some significant honors this season as the head coach of Class 3A Good Hope’s softball program. Harris, who led Demopolis to a Class 4A state championship in 2003 during a 10-year stretch atop the program, earned Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 3A Coach of the Year recognition for his work at Good Hope in 2013.

Harris took his Good Hope squad to the state tournament for the second consecutive season, this time shutting out No. 6 ranked White Plains and ultimately finishing fifth in the 3A draw.

“He won a state championship before he came to us, he’s been to state twice with us, he’s had a winning record every year he’s been with us, so clearly he’s a good coach,” outgoing Good Hope pitcher Cara Goodwin told The Cullman Times, the newspaper that covers Harris’ Good Hope team. “He’s awesome.”

Goodwin is among the top players in the state and has even garnered All-American first-team honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. Still, Goodwin told the Cullman newspaper that Harris’ penchant for and diligence in guaranteeing his players get proper recognition is at the heart of many of the honors she and her teammates have received.

“As far as stats go, that’s really big because that’s what people look at for All-State and all that kind of thing, so him being updated on it helps a lot,” Goodwin, who joined Harris on the ASWA’s honorary squad as the 3A Player of the Year and a first-team pitcher, explained to The Cullman Times. “He’s on top of it. He always wants to help us.”

“I’m trying to get kids exposure because there are the ones who want to play at the next level,” Harris said of his dedication to the stat-keeping process. “Coaches can’t come and watch every ballgame, but they can get online and they can read newspaper.”

Harris has spent five seasons with the Good Hope program and has amassed a record of 85-17-2 over the last two years.