Garner heading to Northside-Columbus
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
When the 2021 season rolls around, someone other than Craig Garner will be Troup High’s baseball coach for the first time in nearly 20 years.
Garner, who has led Troup’s baseball program since 2002, is leaving the school to become the head baseball coach at Northside-Columbus.
Garner, who graduated from Troup High before returning to his alma mater after graduating from LaGrange College, was introduced at Northside during a ceremony on Wednesday.
Garner takes over a Northside program that won a state championship in 2019 and went 7-4 in a 2020 season that was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Garner will replace Dee Miller, who had been Northside’s baseball coach since 2015.
Garner, who was a standout baseball player at wrestler at Troup, played baseball at LaGrange College from 1991 to 1994, and he remains among the program’s all-time leaders in a number of offensive categories.
In 2009, Garner was one of five LaGrange College graduates inducted into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame.
After college, Garner began his coaching career, and in 2002 he became Troup’s head baseball coach, beginning a prosperous era for the program.
Garner has compiled a 346-201 record since 2002, making him one of the winningest baseball coaches in the state.
Troup has advanced deep into the state playoffs on numerous occasions, and it made back-to-back appearances in the state semifinals in 2012 and 2013.
In 2016, the Tigers won the program’s first region championship in more than 20 years.
Troup made it back-to-back region titles in 2017, and it shared the region’s top spot with Cartersville in 2018.
During the shortened 2020 season, Garner was able to coach three of his sons, Cade, Carson and Cole, who were all on the varsity team.
Garner was also a successful wrestling coach at Troup, and he led the team to a third-place finish at the state meet in 2018.
OF NOTE: For much more on Garner’s tenure as Troup baseball coach, see Saturday’s sports section.
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