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SOFTBALL: Richie Wood named new head coach at Ridgeland

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Ridgeland High School Athletic Director Craig Parrott announced the hiring of Richie Wood as the school's new softball coach on Wednesday.

Wood served as an assistant with the Lady Panthers last season after spending several years as an assistant with national powerhouse Soddy-Daisy.

A native of Soddy-Daisy, Wood takes over for Scott Harden, who stepped down this past fall. Harden spent five years as head coach of the Lady Panthers, amassing an 85-47 record with three state tournament appearances and a berth in the Sweet 16 in 2009.

"We're very satisfied and pleased with our decision," Parrott said. "(Wood) has done a great job coaching for us, and he's a great teacher in the classroom, and you can't be a good coach without being a good teacher. He's very knowledgable about the game with good college contacts and he knows how to handle players.

"He's a great motivator and we're very excited. Hopefully he can continue what Scott started and take it to even an higher level."

Parrott also announced that former Ridgeland baseball standout Justin Carruth will stay on as a softball assistant coming season after serving in the same capacity this past fall.

Read more on the hiring in the Jan. 22 edition of the Walker County Messenger.