Randy Law has been named the successor to Mike Tucker, who guided Saks to the Class 3A state softball title this past spring. Law, who spent the past two seasons coaching softball at Jacksonville High School, will replace Tucker, now at Class 5A Baldwin County, as the Saks volleyball coach this fall.
Law was instrumental in establishing the Lady Wildcats’ volleyball program in the mid-1980s and coached them to pair of state titles in 1995 and 2002.
Law, the man for whom the Lady Wildcats’ softball field is named, is only committed to coaching the volleyball team for one season and will not take on Tucker’s role in the dugout this spring. He stepped down from his post at Jacksonville after last season to free up time to travel to see his daughter Cara play during her upcoming senior season at Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky.
“It would’ve been difficult to take another job. This program means a lot to me because I know where it came from,” Law said of Saks.
Law said he’d guided Jacksonville’s softball team through its summer schedule and came back to Saks about two weeks ago. According to Law, C.J. Boyd will head up the Lady Golden Eagles on the diamond.
Thursday morning, Law was hard at work getting his new troops adjusted to the discipline he’s going to require. In the midst of various encouragements, the veteran of the profession of the sport wasn’t shy to offer correction. And egregious errors cost the varsity a quick set of 10 pushups.
“They’re good girls and they want to do well,” Law said. “And they don’t mind doing what I want them to do.”
The Wildcats went 37-8 and won their fourth area title in as many seasons under Tucker.
They’ll be led by 6-foot-1 senior Taylor West, The Star’s Class 3A Player of the Year in volleyball and softball last season. They’ll also rely on a new setter in Tiffany Deboer and a pair of freshmen in Taylor Teague and Jordan Briskey, the younger sister of former all-county outside hitter Destinee Briskey.
The Lady Wildcats will host the Saks Invitational on Aug. 25 to being their 2012 campaign.
“He was my first choice,” Saks principal Jody Whaley said of Law. “He was the first person I picked up the phone and called. It’s fantastic that our program won’t have to drop off at all. We can pick up back where we left off.”
Whaley said he plans his to take his time filling the softball coaching position, but added that he’s got three qualified candidates he’s considering. He’s also sure a permanent replacement for Law will arise in the coming school year.
“It’s not like softball is next week,” Whaley said. “Softball doesn’t start until after Christmas. So that gives me some time. At some point, I’m just going to have to make a really tough decision and decide on someone.”
Nick Birdsong covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575. Follow him on Twitter @birds_word.