NORMAN — Norman High's search for a baseball coach is over, and it didn't have to look far.
Norman Public Schools announced it's hired Cody Merrell to replace Jeff Brewer as the Tigers' head baseball coach.
Merrell steps into a program, which won 20 games last season, exited the postseason in regionals and will bring back seven seniors next season.
“Coach Merrell has played a key role in the development of several student-athletes in multiple sports during his time at Norman High School and Alcott Middle School," said NPS athletics director T.D. O’Hara in a press relsease. "In doing so, he has demonstrated a strong ability to develop relationships with his athletes which is extremely important when trying to get student-athletes to maximize their abilities."
"Cody understands the components for team and individual success as well as the skill development needed to play at the collegiate level. I look forward to watching the NHS baseball program grow under his direction.”
Merrell currently teaches physical education at Alcott Middle School and has served as an assistant high school baseball coach in the past. He also played college baseball at Texas State and has coached other sports for Alcott.
Merrell takes over for Brewer, who stepped down from the program last month after a three-year stint. Brewer was hired as Chickasha's baseball coach, the school announced this week.
Brewer helped rebuild NHS' baseball program, offering Merrell the chance for early success. He'll have pitchers, Cade Horton and Payne Maga to lead the Tigers' staff.
The team also brings back Gage Moser, Mason Daly, Davis Crowley and Connor Goodson.
• North finds new tennis coach: NPS also hired Kirk Hays as Norman North's new tennis coach.
Hays was approved during a special Board of Education meeting on Wednesday.
He takes over for Phil Corbett.