“It’s been a fun ride and my only regret was not winning a state championship in 2012.”

Those are the words of veteran Pierce County High School baseball coach Greg Gay, who has announced his resignation effective at the end of the 2016 season.

“The reasons I’m resigning, and there are two, is one to spend more time with my wife, Amanda, and son, Nate,” Gay says. “They have unselfishly allowed me to coach the game I love for 21 years. Now it is time to spend time with them. 

“The second is to focus my efforts on being in administration. It is very difficult coaching baseball and handling administrative duties because they are two full-time jobs. I’m at ease with my decision. I’ve done a lot of praying and thinking over the last nine months. The decision to step away was not a spur of the moment one and I’m comfortable with it.”

Gay, in his first year as an assistant principal at Blackshear Elementary School, is currently coaching his 21st season of baseball and 18th at the high school level. He has spent 14 of those years as a head coach with 10 coming at Pierce County High School.

Gay has posted a career record of 270-96 (through first nine games this year). He rebuilt a PCHS baseball program that was in shambles, winning just three games over a two-year span prior to his arrival.

“Being the head coach of this program has been a tremendous blessing in my life,” Gay says. “It has been a decade that I am thankful and humbled to have been able to serve in this role for our school and community.

“I’m leaving the program in good standing. We’ve got a good group of young players with a lot of talent, we have a nice facility and great resources. When I came here we didn’t have a nice facility and the resources. This program was basically built from scratch.”

Since 2006, PCHS has posted a 221-75 won-loss mark averaging 24 wins a year. The Bears are 122-23 in region play and 37-19 in the state playoffs.

Gay’s teams have posted eight consecutive 20-win seasons, highlighted by a school-record 30-win campaign in 2012. Pierce has won five region championships (2007-08, 2013-15), played in one state championship series (2012), and reached the “Elite 8” six times. The Bears have never lost an opening round series under Gay’s leadership.

PCHS has had 19 players sign letters-of-intent to play collegiately since 2007. Current assistant coach Jacob Evors (ABAC) was Gay’s first college signee. The biggest class was 2012 when six players committed.

“One of the things I will miss most is helping young men to develop their baseball skills, as well as skills that will serve them well in life,” Gay says. “I am also thankful to have developed lifelong relationships with our players and coaches. Mostly, I want to thank the many players that have dedicated their time to putting Pierce County baseball on the map.

“I want to personally thank the supportive parents, school administration, and community members for supporting the program over the years. Coach (Sean) Pender and (Principal) Dara Bennett both want what is best for the program and I am confident they will ensure a quality candidate is hired.”

Jason Deal can be reached at jdeal@theblacksheartimes.com or (912) 449-6693.