Hamrick coaches through generations
By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist
When a person has the same job for 18 years, he is obviously a content employee. Coach Pat Hamrick said he can’t imagine being anywhere but Thompson High School at this stage of his coaching career.
Born into a Bibb County family consisting of five children, Pat grew up with a passion for many sports, but baseball was his and his father’s first love. Because baseball was the sport Hamrick excelled in, he learned his life skills quickly.
“Teamwork, battling through adversity and being accountable for your performance are some of the skills that baseball teaches,” Hamrick said. “Baseball is a grind, and takes a lot of self-confidence.”
Hamrick played at Bibb County High School, Shelton State and the University of West Alabama at Livingston. Upon completion of his collegiate career, he served as a graduate assistant at West Alabama for two years. Hamrick met his future wife, Christi Best, while in college. They are parents of Abby, a ninth-grader at Thompson High School and Ben, a seventh grader at Thompson Middle School.
Hired by former Thompson principal Jim Elliott (after being recommended by former coach Ricky Seale), Hamrick is the head baseball coach, ninth grade football coach and a special education teacher. Although the baseball season begins Feb. 17, the program itself has become year-round with all the weight conditioning, practice and playing. Thompson teams made the state semi-finals in 1997 and 2006 and the quarterfinals in 2003.
More than a dozen former players are currently playing at the college level. Some of the colleges where they are playing include Wallace at Hanceville and Andalusia, Alabama Southern, Talladega College, University of Alabama, Montevallo, Louisiana-Monroe and Pearl River Community College. Hamrick is also involved with the Alabaster Youth Baseball program as head of the fall youth baseball program.
“Coaching is my calling, but I still enjoy outings and vacations with my family (especially the beach with no cell phone), playing golf and visiting with past players,” he said. “I enjoy seeing what they have accomplished in such a short time.”