George County baseball coach Brandon Davis was pretty to the point when his assistant and GCHS alum Jason McDonald approached him recently.
Nicholls State coach Seth Thibodeaux had offered McDonald an opportunity to be the director of player development at his alma mater. For a recent college grad with aspirations of being a head coach some day, the answer was an obvious one.
“When he came to see me, I said, ‘I hope you’re not asking for my permission because you should already have your bags packed. Heck, I’ll help you pack if you need me to,’” Davis joked Thursday after Nicholls State officially announced the move. “It says a lot about who he is that his former coach would call him up and give him a job like that.”
A former standout at George County, McDonald went on to pitch at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College before landing at Nicholls. He was an assistant at Center Hill for new Harrison Central coach Neil Frederic before joining Davis’ staff last season.
Back in Lucedale, Davis said McDonald was the middle school pitching coach in addition to serving as the varsity team’s strength and conditioning coach.
“I’ve had a lot of assistant coaches in 15 years but he’s one of the best ones I’ve ever had as far as being aware of what needed to be done and when it needed to be done,” Davis said. “I’m glad to see him have this opportunity.
“It’s a loss for George County baseball, but at the same time it’s a local guy on a Division I staff.”
The shuffling of Thibodeaux’s staff at Nicholls State was the result of former volunteer assistant Erik Schoenrock accepting the head coach position at Southwest Tennessee Community College.
Nicholls also announced Ford Pemberton has been promoted to volunteer assistant. Zach Butler and Walt Jones are also returning as assistant coach and associate head coach.
McDonald will assist with strength training, video coordination, practice planning and pitchers’ throwing and off-season conditioning programs.