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FOLLOWING HIS PASSION: Tyler Dent named Class 4A Coach of the Year

The Alabama Sports Writers Association recently selected Andalusia head baseball coach Tyler Dent as the Class 4A Coach of the Year after leading the Bulldogs to the school’s first baseball state championship.

“That was a fun thing to wake up to on Sunday morning,” Dent said about finding he won the award. “Honestly, I was more excited for Ethan (Wilson), Hogan (Nichols) and Jacob (Cravey). It’s not about my individual achievements. It’s about them continuing to make memories that will last a lifetime. The is another accolade to add to their resume.”

Being the best is something that Dent strives for, he said.

“It really is an honor to be named the best coach in our classification,” Dent said. “As a head coach, you want to be the best in the state. On a personal level, I always strive to be the best. I couldn’t have done this without my coaching staff, our support staff, the community and my players.”

His biggest supporter has been his wife Hillary, Dent said.

“I want to thank my wife,” Dent said. “I can’t thank her enough for the support that she has shown me and the boys. Those boys are a part of our family. She is the one who keeps me in line. She is the best mother and coach’s wife that anyone could ask for.”

Coaching wasn’t something Dent considered until college.

“I was fortunate to have a successful career in high school and college,” Dent said. “That was because of the head coaches that I had during my playing career. I didn’t know what I wanted to do career wise, but I knew I wanted to stay around the game that I love. I wasn’t good enough to keep playing after college and coaching gave me a way to stay close to the game.”

His first head coaching job came from Coosa Valley Academy at the age of 22. Dent won the AISA state championship his only year at the program.

The next season, Dent was named the head coach at Andalusia where he has been for the past five years.

This year, Dent led the Bulldogs to a 30-5 record.

Andalusia defeated Hokes Bluff in the best-of-three series to win the state championship.