Cade Hoggard has been named Amory’s baseball coach.

The hire received school board approval Monday night.

Hoggard replaces Chad Williams, who led the Panthers for 20 years before resigning following the 2019 season. Williams will continue in his role as the school’s athletics director.

Hoggard, 32, spent the previous five years at Olive Branch, where he compiled a record of 71-73 with two winning seasons. He was an assistant for the Conquistadors before being promoted to the head post.

“I came down, and I was blown away and loved everything I was hearing,” Hoggard said. “My wife is from a small town, and one thing we agreed on is that we wanted to raise our children in a small community. The next week, I brought her down, and she talked to the principals. They had a job for her as well, and the rest is history.”

Hoggard played his high school ball at Oxford, which he led to the Class 4A state championship in 2005 while being named the Daily Journal Player of the Year.

He then played two years at Mississippi State before transferring to Delta State for his final two years of college.

Amory went 15-10 this past season and reached the third round of the Class 4A playoffs. Reclassification will have the Panthers in 3A next year.

“They’re dropping into a strong division,” Hoggard said. “You have Booneville, Kossuth and Nettleton that I know all have talent coming back, and Alcorn Central has been good in the past. It’s a lot of good coaches and a lot of good talent, so we know nothing is going to be given to us.

“I think that from talking to coach Williams and the culture he’s built, they understand that. They know how to work and compete, and that’s another thing that drove me to this job.”

brad.locke@journalinc.com

Twitter: @bradlocke

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