Head coach Denton Bowling said the hire was “out of the park.”
Hatton softball made a big addition to their program when Whitney King, formally Whitney Jordan, was hired as an assistant coach. The move was made official at the Lawrence County Board of Education meeting on Monday.
King comes to Hatton from Athens where she spent time as assistant coach. She was also a former All-State player for the Golden Eagles.
In between those stints, King starred at Auburn university where she played middle infield for the Tigers.
“I’m tickled to death over this hire,” said Bowling. “To have someone with her pedigree, someone that has played at the highest level, our program just got a lot better.”
King played at Auburn during the Tiger’s most successful period in program history, which included a run to the College World Series in 2016.
During game two of the championship series with Oklahoma, with the Tigers trailing 7-0, King delivered a three-run bomb over the fence. That homerun sparked one of the most improbable comebacks in college softball history as Auburn came back to defeat the Sooners 11-7.
King now joins a Hatton staff that, along with former Hatton players Ashley Berryman and Chloe Lovelady, features three former All-State players.
“Between those three you have 11 All-State selections. I challenge any staff in the state to top that,” Bowling said. “And when our players found out that (Whitney) coming was a possibility, you could just see the excitement in their eyes.”
Her playing career wasn’t the only thing that enticed Bowling, however, as he said he’s watched King coach for a few years now.
“I make a point go to our JH games and I’ve been able to watch her from the other side of the field,” said Bowling. “She’s a great coach that demands the respect of her players and demands accountability.”
Hatton is known for having one of the strongest programs in the state. However, most of their assistant coaches are volunteers. King gives the Hornets an on-staff coach with aspirations of reaching the highest level of coaching.
“This isn’t your run of the mill coaching hire. Whitney is looking to grow so she can one day become a head coach,” Bowling said. “For her to leave her comfort zone at Athens and come here, that speaks volumes about her character.”