Pearl River Community College has officially named Michael Avalon as its new head baseball coach.
Avalon, 34, was hired as head coach on June 3, and was approved Thursday at the PRCC Board of Trustees monthly meeting on the school's main campus. He was chosen from a field of 35 applicants.
Avalon has been the head coach at Mississippi Delta Community College the past five seasons, taking the Trojans to the MACJC playoffs four times, and was an assistant coach at East Central Community College for five seasons prior to taking the job at MDCC.
Under Avalon's guidance, the Trojans were consistently among the best in the state and in the nation in team grade-point average, finishing either first or second in the MACJC for all five years of his tenure.
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He also raised more than $200,000 for the MDCC program, resulting in a number of significant upgrades to the facility on the Moorhead campus. Through 2015, he has sent 36 players to four-year programs, including 12 Division I players.
"I am ecstatic to be here," said Avalon. "I believe God has a plan for you, and I believe this is a door that has been opened for me. I had a good feeling about the process right from the beginning."
Avalon, 34, is a native of Jackson and played high school ball as a pitcher for Tommy Groves at Forest Hill High School.
He played two seasons at Holmes Community College (2001-02) and was a second team All-State selection as a sophomore. He was named to the HCC Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.
After leaving Holmes, Avalon spent a year at Lincoln Memorial University (Tenn.), then completed his playing career in 2004 at West Alabama. He served two seasons as graduate assistant at UWA, helping the Tigers reach the NCAA Division II regionals both seasons.
Avalon takes over a team that was 25-21 overall this past season, but just 10-18 in conference play. The Wildcats have not made the playoffs the past two seasons.
Avalon has hired two assistants, Rhyne Hughes and Anthony Izzio. Hughes is a former PRCC standout who has most recently served as an assistant baseball coach at Southeastern Louisiana. Izzio, a former Vancleave standout, comes to Pearl River after a two-year stint as an assistant at East Mississippi. PRCC will retain Kyle Dolan as a graduate assistant.