Morgan Academy hires new head volleyball and softball coach

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Mark Knight, headmaster at Morgan Academy, announced the hiring of Taylor Thomas as the school's new head volleyball and softball coach on Wednesday, May 6.
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“We are excited to have Taylor Thomas as our new volleyball and softball coach,” Morgan Academy Headmaster Mark Knight said Wednesday, May 6. “She comes to us from the University of Alabama where she is completing her degree in secondary education and social science.”

Knight said Thomas played softball at the collegiate level and has several years’ experience coaching travel softball. He also said she holds multiple high school and state-level softball records from her pitching career at Berry High School.

“In addition to her skill and knowledge, she brings great enthusiasm to our program,” Knight said. “I believe she will be a motivating force with our girls.”

Thomas will also serve as head junior varsity girls basketball coach and assistant girls varsity basketball coach, Knight confirmed.

Thomas, of Berry, Ala., is currently a senior at the University of Alabama she will graduate in May 2021. She graduated from Berry High School in 2012 where she was a four-sport athlete in varsity volleyball, basketball, softball and was a cheerleader.

She was named the first female athlete at Berry High School in 2012 to make the Alabama High School Athletic Association Fastpitch All-State Team as a pitcher and was named an honorable mention member of the All-State team in 2010 and 2011 as a pitcher.

She was 17th on the all-time career strikeout list for AHSAA Fast Pitch softball with 1,239 strikeouts (career amount) in 2012. Her highest strikeout game was 20 strikeouts out of 21 outs in one game.

Thomas’ career achievements in the Alabama State Record Book include: 2011, 361 strikeouts total, pitched 232.2 innings and 2012, 395 strikeouts total, pitched 253 innings. She pitched 857 and 2/3 innings in total career with 78 career wins.

Thomas attended Southwest Tennessee Community College on full ride scholarship to play softball from 2012-2014 and played one year at Belhaven University from 2016-2017.

She said after hanging her cleats up for the last time she knew she wanted to coach softball because of “the love for the game” she since she was 4-years-old.

Thomas coached under her father, Darrell Thomas, at Berry High School from 2016-2018. “Being able to coach alongside of my father is an experience that I will be forever grateful for,” she said. “We share the same love for the game of softball, and getting to be on the other side of the fence alongside him as his assistance coach, has shaped me into the head coach I am today.”

Thomas said, “My parents are my biggest support system and they both taught me very important values that have shaped my life and I am forever grateful for their love and support throughout every decision I have made in life.”

In the summer of 2019, Thomas started her own 18 and under fastpitch travel team named Elite 9.

Sports has been a huge part of Thomas’ life and growing up around coaches like her father, grandfather and uncle allowed her to “fall in love with the passion and work ethic that is expected when wanting to be successful on and off the field.”

Thomas said she looks forward to her time at Morgan Academy this coming year. “This is a new beginning for me, and I look forward to building a strong foundation for these girls that are in the same shoes I was in 13 years ago, on my first day of seventh grade.”

She said of her teams at Morgan, “I want to be able to give them the best of myself and my skill so that they can achieve anything they set their mind to.”

Thomas said, “I want my players to understand that I was in their shoes once and that they can come to me for guidance and support throughout my time at Morgan Academy. I cannot wait to get the seasons started for both teams and ‘Go Senator.’”