Guy Howard named Pelham’s next head baseball coach

Published 8:29 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2024

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PELHAM – For the first time in 11 years, the Pelham Panthers have named a new head baseball coach.

At a Pelham City Schools Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, May 15, the board approved Guy Howard as the team’s next head coach to succeed Sean Anderson.

Anderson, who announced his retirement on April 18, won a state championship in his first season as head coach in 2013 and spent 12 seasons leading Panthers while he was with the school as a coach for 30 years.

Howard will now look to build off of that legacy and add his own championship touch to the storied Pelham program as a coach with more than 14 years of experience.

“Coach Howard is widely respected in the baseball community for his work ethic, character, passion and knowledge of the game,” Pelham Athletic Director Trey Simpson said. “His teams play with a lot of energy, aggressiveness, confidence and mental toughness.”

A Birmingham-area native as a Shades Valley High School graduate, Howard has spent time as an assistant locally at Hewitt-Trussville High School, while he will return to Birmingham from South Carolina where he was the head coach at Belton-Honea Path High School this past season.

At BHP High School, he led a Class 3A program out of five classifications and led the team to the playoffs this season, finishing just shy of a spot in the District Championship game with an 18-9 overall record.

Before Belton-Honea, he was the coach at Northridge High School in Tuscaloosa, where current Pelham head football coach Mike Vickery was the head coach before making his way to Pelham.

At Northridge, Howard spent three seasons leading the Jaguars, leading the team to the Class 6A semifinals in his first season, falling to eventual state champion Faith Academy. He then led the Jags to the playoffs each of the next two years with the team ranked much of that time.

That experience as a coach highlighted what Simpson was looking for when the school had to find its next leader of the program.

“Coach Howard’s energy and plan for success made him the stand-out candidate in the interview process,” Simpson said. “His focus on connecting with players and his ability to develop baseball-specific skills along with the desire to build relationships within our community aligns with the vision of Pelham City Schools athletics.”

As a player, Howard went from Shades Valley to Faulkner State Community College, spending two years as a pitcher and earning a Junior College Academic All-American nod. He went from there to Southern Wesleyan to finish off his college career where he set pitching records and was named to the All-Conference Team, the conference’s pitcher of the year and an NAIA Academic All-American.

His coaching career then started in 2009 when he moved back to Birmingham to take over at Pleasant Grove Middle School.

After quick success, he moved back to South Carolina to join Southern Wesleyan’s staff, spending several years there and coaching in a collegiate summer league for four seasons before taking an assistant job at Hewitt.

There will be a meet and greet at the PHS field house on Wednesday, May 22 at 6 p.m. for anyone who would like to come out and get to know the new head coach.