GAINESVILLE — Former West Hall baseball coach Chad Sage was recently hired to take over the Riverside Military Academy program.
Sage and the Eagles finalized the move last week after Zeb Lackey, who spent just one season with the Eagles, stepped down.
Sage, a former Chestatee standout, coached the Spartans or four seasons (2016-19) and guided them to the playoffs three of his four seasons. He and West Hall parted ways after the 2019 season.
The Riverside opening did not come about until after the 2019 school year and Sage said he had initially planned to take a year off from coaching.
“I had four good years at West Hall but I was really thinking of just stepping back for a year and kind of recharging and reevaluating things,” Sage said. “But the Riverside job just kind of opened up and they called me and it seemed like a really good fit for me and for them I think.”
The Eagles finished the 2019 season at 9-15 under Lackey, however, they have not made the playoffs since 2013 when they were a member of Class 2A. They finished 36th in the Class A Private power rankings in 2019 in a very tough Region 8-A that had six of 10 teams qualify for the playoffs.
Sage said he understands the unique challenges and is ready to get going.
“It is a unique place and right now I don’t have any idea who is coming back as far as players,” he said. “But I am ready to get going and the aspect of having to teach the basics to a new group possibly every year is interesting and I think going to make me a better coach, which I hope I can pass down to the kids.
“It should be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to it.”