SPRINGFIELD, FL-- The Rutherford baseball players, parents, and boosters alike able to meet their program's new head coach.
That coach, Steven Cheney, introduced Tuesday afternoon in the school cafeteria. A search committee led by A.D. Kirk Harrell, administrator Doug Lee and some boosters, taking just a couple of weeks to name Cheney as the replacement for successful veteran coach Jon Hudson.
Cheney is a Gulf Breeze alum who also played two years at Gulf Coast. Drafted in 2006, he then spent several years in the Mets organization. A series of shoulder injuries ended his pro career, so he went back to school at West Florida, while also spending three years as an assistant at Gulf Breeze.
"You know first year head coach," coach Cheney told me "big shoes to fill, coach Jon Hudson, 22-5, 7-3 in the district. Regional runner up, those are definitely big shoes to fill. I'm looking forward to having that opportunity. The head coaching thing has been a dream of mine, something I've always wanted to do. Blessed to have this opportunity here at Rutherford. I look forward to it, I wish the season started tomorrow. That's how excited I am to accept this position."
Cheney said he knows being a first time head coach, there will be things he has to learn as he goes along. He is hoping all the current assistant coaches will stay on, and help him in the transition and into the future.
Coach Cheney telling me he intends to open the field immediately and start looking into organizing fall ball for his players.