By Shannon Fagan/Cherokee County Herald
Former Southside-Gadsden baseball standout Tyler Driskell knows what it takes to make a championship-contending team. He did so as a player and a coach.
Now he’s hoping his successful background will help lead the Sand Rock High Wildcats to prominence.
Driskell was officially hired on June 18 by the Cherokee County Board of Education. He fills the vacancy left by Paul Hawk, who resigned May 24 after just one season.
Driskell becomes the third head coach in as many seasons with the Wildcat program.
“I can’t wait to get started,” said Driskell, who plans to meet the Wildcat players for the first time on Thursday. “I’ve talked to some of the coaches around the area, and everything they’ve said has been positive about the program. I’m excited about being there.”
Driskell’s championship experience began in 2001 as a senior third baseman at Southside.
That year, the Panthers won the Class 5A state title over St. Paul’s.After graduating from Southside, Driskell spent two seasons at Gadsden State Community College, then went on to Berry College in Rome, Ga., earning NAIA All-American status as a junior.
Upon finishing at Berry, Driskell went on to finish school at Jacksonville State University and returned to his roots at Southside, where he was an assistant coach on the Panther baseball team.
From there, Driskell’s first head coaching job was at Chattooga High School in Summerville, Ga., where he guided the Indians to their first state playoff appearance for only the second time in school history.
Driskell has also been an assistant coach at Clay-Chalkville in Birmingham and has spent the past two years as an assistant again at Southside, where the Panthers played for another state championship in 2012.
Driskell will be teaching elementary physical education and health at Sand Rock.