Abraham leaving Warren Central

Published 12:14 am Wednesday, July 4, 2012

After four seasons, Josh Abraham has resigned as Warren Central’s baseball coach.

The 30-year-old said Tuesday he is leaving the school — and the coaching profession — to take a job in private business in Tupelo. Abraham, who is from Tupelo, did not specify what the job is. He turned in his letter of resignation Monday.

“All intentions were to be here for the long haul. It was an opportunity that opened, and these opportunities don’t come open often,” Abraham said. “It’s closer to home for me, it’s close to where my wife grew up. I’ve worked for a great school system, great administration. There’s nothing that pushed us away from here.”

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Abraham added that he does not intend to return to coaching on the high school level.

“This is an opportunity that’s a career move for me. I don’t foresee myself coaching any more, outside of maybe when we have kids of our own,” Abraham said. “It’s the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life. It’s tough to leave the district that gave me a chance to be a head coach. I’ll be forever grateful for that.”

Warren Central principal Jamie Creel said the Vicksburg Warren School District will accept applications until July 12 and conduct interviews July 13. He hopes to have a candidate in place for the next board of trustees meeting on July 19.

Any candidate must be approved by the VWSD board. Both Creel and VWSD superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Swinford said they’ll welcome applications from coaches from both inside and outside the district. There are three assistant coaches on the WC staff — Tip Nutt, Connor Douglas and Brad Babb.

“We’re looking for the person that can best carry on what Coach Abraham started,” Creel said. “We feel the program is going in the right direction and we want somebody to carry that on.”

Abraham came to Warren Central from Tupelo, where he was an assistant, in 2008. The WC job was his first as a head coach.

After going 9-18 in his first season, Abraham posted a winning record and won a playoff series each of the next three years. He led the Vikings to the 2010 Division 4-6A championship and compiled a 58-63 record in his four seasons.

WC lost to Northwest Rankin in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs last season.

“At the end of the day, you set yourself up for the playoffs and try to make a solid run, and I thought we did that every year I was here,” Abraham said.

While Abraham was proud of his on-field accomplishments, he chose to focus on the relationships he built as his biggest success. It’s also the toughest thing to leave.

“Everybody, from when I got here until now, has been absolutely phenomenal. From the coaches, to the administration, the parents and people who supported the baseball program, the kids that played for me,” Abraham said. “The toughest part is leaving these kids. They’re the hardest-working group I’ve been around.”

Creel, who spent 10 seasons as Vicksburg High’s baseball coach before moving into administration, has had a chance to play against and work with Abraham. Creel called him “a complete coach.”

“His support, the way he handled himself inside the school building, is invaluable. He will be severely missed,” Creel said.