After 18 seasons as Tigers baseball coach, Caldwell County’s Bradley Stallins is stepping away from the game.
First reported by yoursportsedge.com’s Todd Griffin and later confirmed by CCHS athletic director Kim Farmer and WPSD’s Adam Wells, the former Tiger at both Caldwell and Campbellsville (Kentucky) leaves as the program’s winningest coach — toting a 301-212 all-time record.
“It is something that myself and my family have discussed, thought, and prayed about,” Stallins told Wells on Thursday night. “The timing was just right.
“The opportunity to coach at my Alma mater was truly one of the joys of my life, and something I look back on with a heart of thankfulness.”
A three-sport star in Princeton (CCHS Class of 2017 Hall of Fame) and all-conference honorable mention shortstop at Campbellsville in 2000, Stallins took over for Jimmy Dyer in 2003 and led the Tigers to three consecutive Fifth District championship games (2003-05)...before district realignment in 2006 pushed his club into the Seventh.
After back-to-back district runner-up finishes in 2010-11, Caldwell County baseball maintained contender status in the Second Region from 2012 onward by claiming seven consecutive district titles (2012-18), two Second Region runner-up finishes (2012, 2019), two Second Region championships (2016, 2017) and one All “A” State runner-up run in 2017.
Stallins would’ve easily added to his win total in 2020, returning a cadre of players that helped push the Tigers to the Seventh District and Second Region title games in 2019.
The coronavirus, however, claimed the schedule.
“I’m hoping to move into administration in a couple of years and, with the up-and-coming team we’ve got, they need someone that could put all the time into them that they deserve,” Stallins also told Griffin.
The 2020 Tigers roster only has three seniors on it in Cody Holub, Trace Lacy and Brian Owen, with a seventh grader (Colin Whittington), an eighth grader (Carter Whittington), nine freshmen, two sophomores (Gabe Dyer, Logan Smiley) and only two juniors (Tate VanHooser, Deontaye Walls)...meaning the 2021 roster, and its new coach, have a chance to grow together.
But for now, the Tigers are reflecting on one of their own.
Tweeted former player and soon-to-be Northern Kentucky utilityman Bryce Thomas: “(Stallins) always treated us like his own.”