Hickory native promoted to full-time assistant at NEMCC

By FROM STAFF REPORTS,

BOONEVILLE — Will Brand is taking on an expanded role with the Northeast Mississippi Community College baseball program during its inaugural season in the new “Field of Dreams” complex.

Brand has been promoted to a full-time assistant coach after serving the Tigers in a volunteer capacity during the 2019 campaign.

“I was excited to get the chance to hire him,” said Northeast headman Richy Harrelson. “It was the right fit at the right time. He’s worked hard for us. He knows what our routine is daily.

“He is a man of high integrity and character. He has relationships with the players we’re recruiting and that was a key factor in all this. He’s a hungry young man and he wants to earn his way.”

Brand recently completed his initial year in the coaching profession after a sensational playing career that started at Jones College and ended at the University of Central Arkansas.

The Hickory native helped the Tigers return to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 23 playoffs for a second consecutive campaign last spring. Northeast won 10 of its final 12 games during the regular season and captured 26 total victories.

“I’m very blessed with this opportunity to be here and be part of this great family,” Brand said. “I don’t think I could come on at a better time. The community is excited about our team especially with the new stadium. We’re excited about how they’re going to perform.”

Brand will oversee the Tigers’ recruiting efforts alongside Harrelson and will take a more in-depth role with the pitching staff. He was Northeast’s first base coach last year as well.

He was a standout pitcher himself during his playing days. Brand was the 2013 Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) Class 4A Co-Player of the Year after guiding Newton County High School to the state championship series.

Brand went 12-2 as a senior in 20 total appearances with 15 starts. He struck out 101 batters compared to just 12 walks in 99.2 innings of work with a sensational 0.91 earned run average (ERA).