Tupelo assistant accepts job as Vikings’ coach|[06/14/08]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 14, 2008

Josh AbrahamTupelo assistant coach Josh Abraham has accepted the job to become the new baseball coach at Warren Central.

The Starkville native was an assistant to Tupelo head coach Gary Enis and helped lead the Golden Wave to the Class 5A state finals against Ocean Springs, where they lost in three games.

This will be the first head coaching job for the 26-year-old Abraham. The hire is subject to approval by the Vicksburg Warren School District board, which will next meet on June 26.

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“Josh was such a plus with our baseball team and I know he will be the same for the Warren Central team,” Enis said Friday. “Very talented baseball coach who works hard and demands that the players play the game hard.”

Current WC assistant coach Tip Nutt also confirmed the hire.

“I heard he just accepted the job today,” Nutt said. “I hope to catch up with him next week. We’ve got our summmer camp coming up and we also have our junior tournament here next weekend.”

Abraham wasn’t sure how much work he’d be able to do with WC’s summer program. He’s getting married next Saturday, and didn’t expect to be in Vicksburg full-time until July.

“I’m getting married next week and then going on my honeymoon, so I think my wife would get rid of me if I tried to cancel that,” Abraham said with a laugh. “I’ll probably have a meeting in July, and I’m going to try and show my face next week. Next week will probably be busier than I’m aware of.”

Abraham will replace former Vikings coach Randy Broome, who resigned in May to move into school administration. He is expected to be the new assistant principal at Vicksburg High this fall.

The Vikings had their second straight losing season at 9-19 in 2008, but did make the Class 5A playoffs after a one-year absence. They were 6-22 in 2007 under Broome.

The WC job opening attracted a wide cast of candidates including South Panola head coach Patrick Robey and Louisville coach Charlie Smith. St. Aloysius’ Clint Wilkerson, who last week coached in the Diamond Crossroads Class 1A-3A All-Star game, was also a candidate.

In three years under Enis at Tupelo, Abraham helped the Wave compile a record of 87-24. They were 32-7 this past season and 34-5 in 2007. Two of the wins came against Vicksburg High in the opening round of the 2007 Class 5A playoffs.

“I think he is a great hire for Warren Central,” Enis said. “I know I’m going to hate to lose him.”

Abraham was an infielder for Starkville High School and went on to play at Mississippi State. He comes from a baseball family. His older brother, Jim, coached at Pearl last season and took a job at Quitman earlier this month, while his younger brother Jase just completed his second season as a player at Hinds Community College.

While being closer to his brothers sparked Josh Abraham’s interest in the WC job, the school was what ultimately sold him on it, he said.

“The program. Coach Broome is a good fella, and a lot of coaches have stayed there a while. That says a lot for the school,” he said. “A lot of it had to do with the school. It’s a good area, and a good administration to keep coaches as long as they do.”