Black named MMI assistant

Published 12:19 am Saturday, August 14, 2010

Former Demopolis High and University of West Alabama pitcher Jeremy Black will continue his relationship with baseball after agreeing to become an assistant coach at Marion Military Institute this week.

“It’s pretty big,” Black said. “I wanted to coach, but I didn’t think it’d be this soon after I left UWA. Coach (Jake) Wells was the pitching coach (at MMI) when I played ball here.”

Black began his collegiate career at MMI until the spring of 2008 before moving on briefly to Huntingdon College and ultimately landing at UWA.

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Black scuffled some in his first year at UWA, recording a 7.20 ERA in 30 innings of work. But the DHS alum settled down in 2010, putting together a 2.22 ERA in just over 24 innings.

Near the conclusion of the 2010 season, Black began to wonder how he could continue his love affair with the game.

“I went to (UWA) didn’t really expect to get to play after that,” Black said. “I loved the game so much, I really didn’t want to get away from it. When you love something that much, you really don’t want to give it up. It kills you to take the spikes off for the last time.”

Black had some conversations with pro scouts and ultimately landed an offer to try out with an independent league team in Texas. Black admitted to having an interest in coaching at that point. But it was not until his work with the West Alabama USSSA 16U team this summer that he got his first taste of coaching.

“That was really my first coaching experience,” Black said of an opportunity that was born out of a phone call from former high school teammate and USSSA coach Bart Butler. “That really helped me out. I learned how to relate to guys.”

Armed with that experience, Black will take his talents to Marion, an area he knows well. He hopes that his familiarity with the region and insight into life as an MMI student will help him in the recruiting process.

“It’s good for me as far as recruiting goes because I know how the school is,” Black said of the knowledge that will allow him to ease the transition for players looking to advance their involvement with the game. “I want to help guys continue to chase their dreams and try to go on to the next level.”