Dee Haynes Photo Courtesy of Grenada Star
The Bayou Academy baseball program will enter the 2018-19 school year with a new man to lead the way.
Bayou Academy headmaster Dave Granville announced Thursday that former Delta State University baseball star Dee Haynes will take over as head baseball coach at Bayou Academy. His first official day at the school will be on July 1.
Will Reed, who has been Bayou’s head baseball coach for seven years, resigned to focus on his position as Bayou Academy Junior High Principal. This year was Reed’s first year as junior high principal.
“I want to give full effort to developing things we’re trying to do academically,” Reed said about his decision. “I’m excited about spending a little more time with the family. I want to thank all of those who supported myself and the program throughout the years.”
The 31-year-old posted a record of 109-58-1 with five district championships, two trips to the A North State series (2012 and 13) and a trip to the AAA State Semifinal Series (2017) in his career at Bayou. The Colts finished this past year 15-15 and was eliminated in the first round of the AAA State Playoffs. Reed will still be the head coach through the summer.
Reed, who played college baseball at Mississippi Delta Community College and Mississippi College, said coaching the players was an honor and a privilege.
“I want the guys to know how much I cherish the time and relationships with them,” Reed said. “I’m very proud of them and enjoyed my time coaching them.”
Granville was grateful for Reed’s time as baseball coach and is looking forward to what he’ll do as junior high principal.
“He was a very good baseball coach, and he’ll be a good principal,” Granville said.
Haynes has been serving as an assistant baseball coach at Grenada High School for the past three seasons, which was his first full-time coaching job. Before that, he served as a part time assistant coach for Pillow Academy. This is his first head coaching job.
As a player, Haynes, 40, suited up at Delta State University from 1998-2000 and is the school’s all-time career leader in home runs (69) and RBIs (253) and he holds the single season school record for batting average (.444), RBIs (92) and runs scored (88). The 26 home runs hit in 1999 were the most in a season at DSU until this year as current DSU player Zack Shannon has hit 29.
After his playing days at DSU, he picked up in the 14th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. He played in the Minor Leagues from 2000-05 with most of that time in the Cardinals organization. He ended his career in the Washington Nationals organization. The highest level Haynes played at was AAA.
Haynes said the coaching job at Bayou came open at the right time for him and his family.
“I’ve had my eyes open for a head coaching job,” Haynes said. “I was contacted by Bayou and they asked if I was interested. I’m interested in anything that’s available. I said I would love to talk to them, see the place and see what they had to say. Dr. Granville and I got together and I liked what I saw. It’s going to be a positive move for me.
“At the moment, Gina works at North Sunflower at the medical center. She’s over there, I’m in Grenada and my son is at Pillow Academy. It’ll be a positive move for my family, I’ll be able to teach my son, coach him and see him. I’ll have more time to spend with him than I have coaching out of town. I felt like the timing of this was a God thing. I loved everything about the school, and Cleveland is a baseball town.”
Haynes will inherit a program that has advanced to the playoffs for 15 consecutive seasons with A State Championships in 2007 and 08.
Haynes said he is excited about working with the players.
“You’ve got kids that love baseball and hungry for baseball,” Haynes said. “They’ll do the extra work that it takes to be successful at baseball. You can’t just pick up a bat and a ball in February and put up in late April or May and pick it back up in February and expect to be good. I know enough about those kids in that area that they’ll put in the extra work that it takes.”
Haynes said he plans to have programs in place for players to get better in the offseason.
“I will do something year around with the athletes that are available,” Haynes said. “You have athletes that play multiple sports and are encouraged to and I think that’s a good thing. I think it makes better athletes overall.
“For the kids that aren’t playing other sports, there will be opportunities for kids to grow and get their skill better whether it be in the weight room or hitting and pitching. There will definitely be work to be done year around for those that are available.”
Granville said Haynes, who will also teach history and geography in the classroom, will be a nice fit for the program and the school.
“He’s inheriting a very successful program, and he’ll be a great asset,” Granville said. “He’ll give his attention to baseball year round.”
Reed said he’s optimistic about what Haynes brings to the table.
“I know he was a great player,” Reed said. “I’ve worked a couple of camps with him, and he’s a high energy guy. I have no doubt he’ll be successful.”
Haynes added he was thankful for what he learned from coaching with Grenada High School head baseball coach Jake Yarborough and what he learned from playing under Delta State head baseball coach Mike Kinnison.