Craig Garner Hired to Coach Defending State Champions Northside Baseball


The Northside Patriots baseball team was denied the opportunity to defend their 4A State Championship due to COVID-19. Now entering this next school year, they’ll be led by a new head baseball coach. Craig Garner left Troup County after 19 seasons, finishing with a record of (346-201). In addition, his unfinished season ended with a record of (5-9).

“I’ve been playing Northside ever since they came into existence. I watch people. I study them and kind of see their makeup and their character,” said Garner. “You know, God has directed me and led me to that position and I’m excited about it.”

Garner coached many notable players at his alma mater Troup County, including Auburn’s Ryan Bliss and Florida State graduate Jonathan Foster. Both athletes played in the 2019 College World Series at Omaha.

Garner is excited to work with his new, talented group at Northside. The Patriots have a experienced senior class for spring 2021.

“They’ve got some great players returning, and a couple in particular in (Walt) McConnell and (Conner) O’Neal,” said Garner. “You know these guys are about to commit or have already committed to D1 schools.”

Garner brings along two sons who play high school baseball, and they’re used to their dad’s old-fashioned, work hard coaching style.

“I feel like I’m a detailed oriented coach when it comes to the game,” said Garner. “We play a very aggressive, hard-nosed style of baseball.”

The Patriots Class 4A State Title in 2019 was the first won in school history. Now the team knows how much hard work is required to win. In spring 2021 they’ll move up to Region 2-AAAAA against opponents Griffin, Harris County, McIntosh, Northgate, Starr’s Mill and Whitewater.

“I mean it defines what they’ve done two years ago, and so I think that’s a big draw,” said Garner. “They have some great pride and tradition in that and I’m going to try my best to keep it at that level.”

Former Patriots Head Coach Dee Miller left Northside to become the Assistant Principal at Hardaway High School. He finished his career at Northside with 115 total wins.

Categories: Georgia Sports, High School