A new coach will take the helm of Enterprise High School’s baseball program.
Matt Whitton — a 2007 graduate of EHS — was hired Tuesday at an Enterprise City Schools Board of Education meeting. Whitton spent six years as assistant coach at Enterprise under former coaches Shawn Gilmer and J.D. Pruitt before becoming head coach at Charles Henderson, where he spent the last year and a half.
“It’s awesome,” Whitton told The Ledger. “It’s a thrill to come back where you graduated from in such a great school system and to have a chance to lead such a great program.”
After graduating from Enterprise, Whitton played two years at Enterprise State Community College and two more at Huntingdon College. His first coaching experience came from ESCC and, after coaching at the junior high level in Enterprise, he became an assistant coach for Enterprise’s varsity program.
Last season, Whitton led Charles Henderson to a 29-8 record and a second-round appearance in the state playoffs. In his first season with the Trojans, the team finished 13-8 and had a first round playoff appearance.
Whitton said it was a “dream come true” to return to Enterprise.
“I didn’t think I would be blessed this early (in my coaching career), but you know it crosses your mind in the coaching world about being able to come back to your hometown and coach your alma mater,” he said. “I’m really just blessed to be here and thankful to Mr. (Greg) Faught (ECS superintendent) and Mr. (Brent) Harrison (EHS principal) for giving me the opportunity to lead this program.”
Because Whitton was at EHS for six years before his coaching stint at Charles Henderson, he is already familiar with several of the players.
“I’m excited about getting back in the swing of things with those guys,” said Whitton. “Excited to start buildings on those relationships that were already built there and seeing what they can accomplish.”
Whitton replaces Lee Hyde, who resigned to take an administrative position at Wicksburg High School. Hyde had previously coached 12 years at Wicksburg and his family is involved with the school.
“This made sense as our kids go to school there and (my wife) teaches there,” Hyde told The Dothan Eagle. “It is right down the road from where we live. I was not searching for a job. This just popped up. I had a great experience at Enterprise. I loved working at Enterprise.”
Whitton has some time to re-familiarize himself with the program as offseason workouts begin. A new season of baseball will begin on Feb. 13.
Last season, Enterprise finished 17-19 and lost to Auburn in the first round of the playoffs.