By Shannon Fagan/Cherokee County Herald
The list of credentials Taylor Talbot has accumulated during his eight-year tenure as Cedar Bluff High’s head baseball coach is an impressive one: three Cherokee County Tournament championships, five area championships, six Class 1A quarterfinal or semifinal playoff appearances and an overall record of 178-107.
Talbot turned the Tiger baseball program into a winner. Now he’s looking to do the same at Class 7A Gadsden City.
Talbot was officially hired as the Titans’ new head baseball coach at the Gadsden City Board of Education meeting on Tuesday (June 2). He succeeds Todd Lamberth, who resigned from the post in early May.
As the Titans’ only baseball coach in the program’s nine years since the consolidation of Gadsden, Emma Sansom and Litchfield high schools, Lamberth guided the Titans to the state playoffs in 2007 and 2014.
Talbot said the past cou-ple of weeks have been “bittersweet” for him and his family, but the opportunity to coach at the state’s highest high school level was too good to pass up.
“It’s an opportunity we felt was good for us,” Tal-bot said. “We’re sad to leave our friends and family here. For nine years, this has been home, but we’re looking forward to this next chapter.”
Talbot said his decision to leave Cedar Bluff didn’t come lightly. He said he’s taken pride in what he’s been able to help build with the Tiger baseball program.
“It’s been an unbelievable opportunity to be the head coach at Cedar Bluff,” he said. “We’ve had a great run of talent, and that’s going to continue. I think overall the thing I’m probably the most proud of is that continuity, regardless of who graduated or what type of player they were, the next group of men worked hard and kept building on what we feel like has been a good tradition. .”
Talbot calls the Gadsden City position “a unique situation.” He feels there at good players there, and it’s only a matter of tapping that talent to its potential.
“When they consolidated schools, it’s been up and down, but there’s good opportunity there,” he said. “Our goal is to build the program for long-term success, and I think you do that by getting into the youth programs and being able to recruit the kids within your school, make baseball something that’s a special experience.
“We expect to come in and control what we can control early on, and that’s just to ask these kids to go out and compete with great effort every day and play with a good attitude. If we do that, I think at the end of the day we can hang our hat on whatever the outcome and live with that.”
Talbot had planned to meet with his new players shortly after Tuesday’s board meeting. He also planned to say goodbye to his old ones at Cedar Bluff on Wednesday afternoon.
Talbot said meeting with his former players would be “a very humbling experience” for him.
“I don’t care when or how you leave, a part of you feels like you’re deserting your kids,” Talbot said. “At the end of the day, I hope they’re able to step back from it and realize we love them and we care about them. What they’ve done with a baseball has never defined them to us as a family or a person. I love and care about these young men who have spilled their guts for me. It’s truly a tough day.
“Cedar Bluff will always be special in mine and my wife (Kirsten’s) lives. Nine years ago, (former Cedar Bluff principal) Bobby Mintz gave me an opportunity. For that, my life has forever been changed. I’m incredibly in debt to Coach Mintz. I’ve had great support from the (Cherokee County) Board of Education, the Cherokee County commissioners. They’ve really allowed us to build and have great facilities. It’s a tough moment, but at the end of the day, we felt like it was a unique opportunity for my family.”