Mitch Ashmore will not be returning as head baseball coach a Delta Charter School.
Former Harrisonburg head coach Clay McGuffee accepted the head baseball coaching job Monday.
McGuffee led Harrisonburg to the Class C state championship in 2018, beating Simpson 4-3 in the finals. The Bulldogs lost to Simpson 2-0 in the semifinals last year.
McGuffee and his wife will be part of the Delta Charter faculty this year.
Delta Charter high school principal Jimmy Comeaux said an opportunity came up to hire a full-time coach who will be a faculty member at the school.
“We were looking for the opportunity to hire a full-time teacher who will be on campus and is a successful baseball coach who wanted to continue coaching baseball,” Comeaux said. “With Coach McGuffee and his wife we have two certified teachers. We appreciate everything Mitch did here. He stepped in and filled a void. Mitch is an outstanding baseball coach, and the players really benefitted playing under him for a year.”
Ashmore was named head coach at Delta Charter after Jarrett Hoffpauir accepted the head baseball job at Presbyterian Christian in Hattiesburg.
“I’m disappointed,” Ashmore said. “They gave me one year to put in a new system and then fired me unceremoniously. I was dealt a heavy blow.”
Delta Charter lost in the Class A championship game two years ago, but lost several starters from that team.
With several new starters, the Storm went 7-16, defeating Block 13-1 in the first round before falling to eventual state runner-up Kentwood 10-0 in the regionals.
“I threw a lot at these guys last year and they adapted to it,” Ashmore said. “I thought this year I would come in and not have to teach, I would just go out and say this is what we’re doing and they would go out there and do it. Now they have to adapt to a new system. I want them to know I was very proud to be their coach and that if they ever needed anything I will always be there for them.”
Ashmore coached 18 years at Huntington, appearing in six state championship series, including winning the state title in 1994.
Mason Ozburn will return as assistant coach at Delta Charter.
Ashmore began coaching at Huntington in 1987, taking over for Don King, who also served as football coach.
Huntington finished third in district in 2008 with a 19-15 record and missed out on the district tournament.
Ashmore retired from coaching after the 2008 season, but was offered the Trinity job in 2010.
Huntington would close in 2011, but Ashmore said he had no idea at the time of his retirement that was going to happen.
The Saints went 19-7 in Ashmore’s first year at Trinity, losing out to Riverfield in a playoff series that saw the Raiders advance to South A State.
Ironically, in 2011, Ashmore won his second state championship in the Huntington dugout, this time in a Trinity Episcopal School uniform.
Trinity, which used Huntington’s baseball field after the Ferriday school shut down, swept Winona Christian in convincing fashion.
Ashmore said he doesn’t see coaching baseball in his future.
“I’ve been left out on an island,” Ashmore said. “I’ll ride off into the sunset. I love baseball and know how to coach the game and how to teach kids.. I never thought my career would end like this.”