Five inducted into GDC Hall of Fame

Posted 1/11/19

Blessed Trinity coach Andy Harlin, left, is congratulated by assistant coach Jamie Wagner

Friday during the Georgia Dugout Club's Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Marietta

Hilton Hotel & Conference Center. Harlin was one of five new members inducted.


GDC inducts five new members

By Tim Morse

MARIETTA -- The stories were humorous.
Some were serious, then some made the audience shed a few tears.
Five new members were inducted into the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame Friday afternoon at the Marietta Hilton Hotel & Conference Center during the organization's annual coaches clinic.
East Paulding's Tony Boyd, Kennesaw Mountain's George Hansen, Colquitt County's Tony Kirkland, former Metter coach Monty Nagel and Blessed Trinity's Andy Harlin were inducted during the annual awards ceremony.
Denmark High School coach David Smart was awarded the Ethics in Coaching Award, the organization's highest honor.
Smart, who took over at Forsyth County's newest high school this year after leading LaGrange High to the state semifinals in 2017, said he was humbled.
"This may sound kind of cliche'-ish, and some eyes may roll, but it starts off with a Saviour who loves me," he said. "He's taught me to love. I wouldn't be much of a coach without that."
Boyd was the first inductee to take the podium after getting introduced by Tim Carruth. Boyd said he was honored, and he broke the ice by taking a shot at himself.
"These guys up here, I'm thinking, 'That guy beat me,' " Boyd said. "Then that guy kicked my butt. Everybody who came up here kicked my butt."
Boyd’s career record is 458-365 at Wills High School, Pebblebrook and Holy Innocents'. He has won three region titles, all at East Paulding, and guided the Raiders to 10 postseason appearances. His postseason resume includes three trips to the quarterfinals and one trip to the semifinals.
Hansen's younger brother Keith, who is the head baseball coach at Allatoona, and Kennesaw Mountain assistant Rich Oria introduced the only varsity baseball coach Kennesaw Mountain High School has ever known.
"I was so nervous about my brother being up here," George Hansen said. "Keith, you did good. You didn't tell any of my embarrassing stories."
Hansen has been a varsity coach for 23 seasons at Pebblebrook and Kennesaw Mountain High Schools. He served as an assistant at North Cobb under Harvey Cochran, also a member of the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame. He has a career coaching mark of 383-228
He has won four region titles and has guided 10 teams to state playoff appearances. His Kennesaw Mountain team finished as the Class 5A state runner-up in 2005. Hansen has made three trips to the state semifinals and three quarterfinal appearances. His 2007 team was ranked fourth nationally by USA Today.
Smart, who has worked alongside Kirkland for many seasons while coaching Team Georgia in the Sunbelt Classic in Oklahoma, introduced his friend on Friday.
Kirkland, who has been head coach at South Effingham and Colquitt County, spent time thanking many for his induction.
"We don't get a chance to say thank you whole lot unless you are in a banquet-type setting," Kirkland said. "We don't get a chance to say thank you a whole lot. Today, I'm going to take time to do that."
He got his first head baseball job in 2003 when he took over at South Effingham. He took the Mustangs to the Class 4A state semifinals in 2005. During his tenure in Guyton, Ga., he helped develop current Houston Astros standout Josh Reddick.
In 2009, Kirkland returned to Colquitt County where he was an assistant earlier in his career and helped the Packers to state titles in 1997 and 2003. He has helped more than 45 players sign scholarships to play college baseball and five players have been drafted professionally.
His teams have won six region championships, and he has been named Region Coach of the Year seven times, four times since returning to Colquitt County. He has made five trips to the state semifinals, and he has guided his teams to the state playoffs in 15 of his 16 seasons as head coach. He has recorded 290 victories.
Nagel retired from Metter after the 2018 season. He compiled a career baseball record of 204-120 in 14 seasons at Metter and nearby Pinewood Christian Academy.
His two children -- Pete and Amy -- introduced their father.
For a coach known for helping develop players into productive young men, Nagel had a hard time holding back tears after his son spoke about him being a better man than a baseball coach.
"It's a humbling experience," said Nagel, who had a seizure in Dec., 2017 and in early 2018, battled for his life with a brain tumor that doctors later found to be benign.
"Other than the birth of those two kids, (getting inducted into the Hall of Fame) is the most-humbling experience I've ever been associated with."
Harlin was the final inductee. After getting introduced by assistant Jamie Wagner, the legendary coach spoke of his family's love for baseball and how much he enjoyed the game. His mother, who passed away in 1999, was an avid Atlanta Braves fan who listened to nearly every game on the radio in the late 1970s. His father, who was from New York, was a die-hard Brooklyn Dodgers fan who often rode the train to watch his favorite team play.
Harlin and his wife, Jamie, spent their honeymoon in Cooperstown, N.Y., home of Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame.
"We took 500 pictures and only two of them were of us," Harlin joked. "We took one in front of the Hall of Fame and the other in front of our bed and breakfast. The rest were of Babe Ruth's bat and stuff like that."
Harlin has coached at St. Pius X and spent the last 16 seasons at Blessed Trinity. He has a career mark of 568-186 and is one of 26 prep coaches in Georgia to top the magical 500-win plateau.
He has guided Blessed Trinity to three state titles (2006, 2014-15) and finished as state runner-up in 2016 and 2017. Harlin has won 10 region titles, named state Coach of the Year five times and is a two-time Regional Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association.  


100 Wins
Tony Dimitri, Jordan
Todd Harrelson, Northgate
Chad Gillespie, Madison County
200 Wins
Brian Brown, West Laurens
Allen Franklin, Union Grove
Brett Griffin, Effingham County
Mike Pruitt, West Forsyth
Joey Ray, Flowery Branch
Jeff Timothy, South Georgia State
Steve Westmoreland, Harris County
Greg Williams, Cook
300 Wins
Ricky Beale, Evans
Casey Kane, Athens Academy
Jeremy Smith, Appling County
400 Wins
Chan Brown, Parkview
Todd Eubanks, South Effingham
Lance Oubs, Lovett
500 Wins
Joey Hiller, Tattnall Square
Tommy Knight, Jefferson


Players and Coaches of the Year awards
Class 7A
Players -
Logan Cerny, Parkview and Davis Sharpe, Mill Creek
Coaches - Chan Brown, Parkview and Doug Jones, Mill Creek
Class 6A
Players -
Buddy Floyd, Pope and Payton Eeles, Allatoona
Coaches - Jeff Rowland, Pope and Keith Hansen, Allatoona
Class 5A
Players -
Seth Clark, Loganville and Ramsey David, Buford
Coaches - Jeff Segars, Loganville and Stuart Chester, Buford
Class 4A
Players -
Patrick Hickox, Jefferson and Anthony Seigler, Cartersville
Coaches - Tommy Knight, Jefferson and Kyle Tucker, Cartersville
Class 3A
Players -
Ben O'Meara, Lovett and Parks Harber, Westminster
Coaches - Lance Oubs, Lovett and Chad Laney, Westminster
Class 2A
Players -
Carter Holton, Benedictine and Rhett Thomason, Berrien
Coaches - Kevin Farmer, Benedictine and Doug Nix, Berrien
Class 1A Public
Player -
Dylan Minghini, Gordon Lee
Coach - Mike Dunfee, Gordon Lee
Class 1A Private
Player -
Luke Laskey, Tattnall Square
Coach - Joey Hiller, Tattnall Square


Fields of the Year
Colquitt County
Lumpkin County
Columbus State


Assistant Coaches of the Year
Jamie Wagner, Blessed Trinity
Dustin Kline, Parkview
Jonathan Oliver, Valdosta
Evan Bryant, Whitewater
Hunter McAllister, Tift County
Chris Adair, South Paulding
Al Otte, Frederica Academy
Brandon Anglin, Loganville
Dusty Black, Flowery Branch
Will McCranie, Dodge County




Top left, David Smart, right, accepts the Ethics in Coaching plaque from David McDonald, Top right, East Paulding coach Tony Boyd addresses the audience during the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Middle left, Kennesaw Mountain coach George Hansen speaks to the audience during the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Middle right, Blessed Trinity coach Andy Harlin during the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Bottom left, Colquitt County coach Tony Kirkland during the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Bottom right, Former Metter High coach Monty Nagel, left, accepts a plaque from David McDonald at the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame induction ceremony.