GAINESVILLE — The email and the news it carried was stunning to say the least.
Trent Mongero, the architect of the first-ever state championship for the North Hall baseball program, was leaving the post he had manned for 11 seasons at Jody Davis Field to accept a new challenge at Glynn Academy in Brunswick.
Mongero made his official announcement on Tuesday after addressing the Trojans baseball team.
“Probably the toughest thing I’ve ever done. I think it took about five seconds for it to get pretty emotional,” he said. “It’s tough to say goodbye to the people you love. I am so grateful for the opportunity that the people of North Hall gave me to be trusted to teach their children. It’s been an amazing 11 years.”
While the past month has been a whirlwind of celebration for the North Hall family, the past week became a sudden blur and eventually bittersweet for Mongero.
Glynn Academy contacted Mongero about its sudden opening after Greg Roberts, who had just guided the Red Terrors to their first-ever region title, abruptly stepped down. It was not a call he was expecting.
Neither was the offer.
“I was getting ready to get the next phase of the off-season going when they called,” Mongero said. “My initial thoughts were I wasn’t sure if it was the right thing for us. But we went down there and listened.
“They have a tremendous new facility and the offer was just too good to turn down in the end. It’s just an amazing opportunity for my family. It was a blur. They offered the position on Monday and we accepted. I was approved (by the Glynn County Board of Education) on Tuesday.”
Mongero posted a record of 252-110 in his 11 seasons and collected his 200th and 400th wins as a coach at Jody Davis Field. The Trojans were 164-65 from 2011-17, which was highlighted and culminated with the program’s first-ever state title last month with a stunning sweep of No. 1 Pierce County in the Class AAA finals in Savannah.
He led the Trojans to a Class AAA runner-up finish in 2013 and twice was named the Class AAA Georgia Dugout Coach of the Year (2013 and 2017). In Glynn Academy, Mongero inherits a program that is coming off a 24-10 campaign and its first-ever region title (Region 2-AAAAAA).
“I don’t really know that much right at the moment but I know they had good year and won their first region title so I’m sure there is some talent there to work with,” he said.
Part of the allure to the Georgia coastal school was its new state-of-the-art facility. Current St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright, a Glynn Academy alum, donated 10 of the 16.1 acres for the complex off Highway 17 in the heart of Brunswick, which is set to be completed this spring.
“It’s tremendous and I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s finished,” he said.
However, he reiterated that no amount of money or shiny new ballparks will ever be able to dim the memories he experienced in Hall County.
“I am forever grateful to everyone at North Hall. They saw something in me 11 years ago and gave me the opportunity to teach and grow in the community. I will never forget them and will always be rooting for them,” he said.