Bedsole excited to have family, job in 1 place

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, July 8, 2014

0708 spt-Jim Bedsole

New Straughn baseball coach Jim Bedsole talks with his players during a playdate this summer. Bedsole said he’s excited to work and have his family in one place. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Jim Bedsole is pretty excited to have his family in one place for a change.

Bedsole, who was hired as Straughn’s new baseball coach at a recent Covington County Board of Education meeting, comes to the area after five years coaching at three different schools — Pike County for one year, Slocomb for three years and Horseshoe Bend for one year.

During Bedsole’s time coaching and teaching at PCHS, his wife, Deidra, also taught in Enterprise and their two sons, Kade and Karson (Grant), went to school in Geneva.

Working in two different places with their sons going to a school in a separate district made it difficult for the couple to make it to a lot of their sons’ sports activities, Bedsole said.

“We’re all excited to be at the same place,” the new SHS varsity baseball coach said.

Bedsole replaces John Fussell, who resigned to spend more time with his family shortly after the 2014 season ended.

At PCHS, Bedsole led his team to a three-win season and the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs, where it lost to Slocomb. This was the first three-win season for the Bulldogs in seven years. Pike County’s first win over Goshen last season broke a 27-game losing streak. In addition to baseball, Bedsole coached football and basketball.

This fall, Bedsole will begin teaching sixth and eighth grade history at SMS, along with coaching defensive backs and wide receivers on Straughn’s varsity football squad.

The love of baseball for the Opp native came at an early age, at around 4 or 5 years old, he said. It also helped that his parents, Jimmie and Fay, were supportive as well.

“They were at every game I played; every game I coached,” he said. “I’d look down the first and third base lines and look for two random chairs down there. Their support had a lot to do (with my early love of baseball).”

Bedsole lived on the outskirts of Opp, but attended school at Kinston, where he was a multi-sport athlete.

When the regular baseball season was over, Bedsole played in the summer league in Opp.

“They have a really good program over there,” he said. “That’s kind of what I grew up in.”

Upon graduating from KHS, Bedsole had aspirations to play baseball at the next level. He decided to walk on at West Alabama.

At the time, UWA didn’t have anymore scholarship spots available on the team, and Bedsole decided that it would be best to go into coaching and teaching.

Giving every player a chance to play and making plays on the base pads are two keys that unlock components in Bedsole’s coaching cabinet.

“Everybody deserves a chance,” he said. “Not all players have the same strengths. You’ve got to identify their strengths and weaknesses. I’m really big into aggressive base running. In high school, it’s easy to draw that extra throw. We want to make other teams make them.”

The biggest draw that brought him into coaching would be the interaction he has with his players, Bedsole said.

“It’s something you can’t do with any other job,” Bedsole said. “With a lot of these kids, you never know what kind of home situation they have. Sometimes, you’re the only male figure they see. You have a good opportunity in front of you to show them about being a man, accepting the consequences, whether it be good or bad for you; or whatever life decisions you can pass along.”