Not many programs can lose a coach the caliber of Rick Wagner, and plug in a guy like Jeremy Jenkins. So Daniel Boone softball took a fortunate turn Tuesday.
Jenkins, the Trailblazers' head football coach, agreed to take over from Wagner, whose retirement became official after Saturday's Class AAA sectional loss to Corryton Gibbs.
“I played for Coach Wagner, and he's the one who steered me into coaching,” said Jenkins. “I kept thinking I'm more of a football and baseball person, but it's the same route he took in softball. The more I thought about it, the more I thought it could be a good thing.
“It just kind of fell that way. I did a lot of praying to see if I was led to do it. I'm excited about it.”
Daniel Boone's football program has thrived under Jenkins. In 10 seasons, he has compiled a record of 67-43, including four postseason victories.
Four times the Trailblazers have won eight regular season games, and they went 10-3 while reaching the state quarterfinals in 2009.
Jenkins does have experience coaching girls, as he was head girls basketball coach at Sullivan South for four seasons. He said he met with the Lady Trailblazers' softball players Tuesday.
“Hopefully this will be a good thing,” said Jenkins. “We will go hard and get after it as much as we can. It's a great opportunity to be a part of, and I hope we can keep the same intensity and example Coach Wagner has left.”
Boone athletic director Danny Good said the program is pleased about Jenkins moving into the head spot.
“We are excited about Coach Jenkins and his new staff and what the future holds,” said Good. “Jeremy is a winner, and has a work ethic second to none. He and Rick are similar in a lot of ways, so we feel softball will continue to be strong at Daniel Boone.”
Jenkins will be assisted by Mark Conkin, Brittany Farmer and former Boone standout Tonya Jenkins, who was an All-American selection while playing softball at Milligan College. Farmer played collegiately at Walters State Community College.
Good said Wagner gave Jenkins a challenging assignment by taking the Lady Trailblazers to new heights.
“He took our program to a level that is respected across the state,” said Good.
Boone was 344-178 under Wagner, including 194-47 over the last five years. The Lady 'Blazers won eight Big Seven championships, eight district titles and made five sectional appearances in 12 years under Wagner. Boone also reached the state tournament twice, finishing runner-up in 2012.
“Those are all great accomplishments, but more importantly he did it the right way,” said Good. “He did it with class, dignity, sportsmanship, and is respected by his peers, the staff and administration at Boone, and our community.”
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