tstormn.png
Thursday July 7th, 2022 12:57AM

Softball: Bluff lures Warzon from baseball to take head softball job

By Bo Wilson Sports Editor

Daniel Warzon thought he wanted to chase a lucrative career in the business world. 

But it was just a thought. 

After a successful college baseball playing career at Young Harris, East Carolina and the University of North Georgia, Warzon's desire to pursue the coaching profession was too much to ignore.

"Teaching and coaching had always been in the back of my mind," he said. "But moving around a bit, business was the easiest thing to stay on track to graduate." 

Warzon can add head softball coach to his resume now. The Bluff assistant baseball coach was hired to take over an ever-growing Cherokee Bluff softball team on Tuesday. 

"We're extremely grateful to have Coach Warzon in our program," Bluff Athletics Director Kenny Hill said. "He's right for the Cherokee Bluff softball family and will keep moving our program in the right direction."

Warzon replaces Kristi Underwood, who resigned last month. She left the program in good shape, and Warzon is excited about the opportunity to build on her success as the Bears enter season No. 3. 

"Kristi did a wonderful job," he said. "Especially building something from the ground up and in Year 2, making it to the playoffs and almost round 2. She did an incredible job. It is a settling feeling taking over something that has good roots to it. It's an exciting feeling as well to grow it even more."

The Bears were 7-17 in their first-ever season and in Year 2, made drastic improvements, finishing 19-11 with a first-round Class 3A playoff appearance. 

The program also returns most of its line up in 2020. 

"We have some girls with experience and playoff experience," he said. "To have 8 girls coming back that got to experience the playoffs last year is huge for this season. We're going to build off of that and keep it growing. My big drive is going to be to keep growing this program and keep it going in the right direction."

The new Region 7-3A is wide open, according to Warzon. He says it's good from top to bottom.

"I don't think there are any dominating teams coming back," he said. "I think they're all good softball teams that have the capability to beat anybody on any given day. I think that is going to create a fun softball season where every game is crucial and when it stacks up at the end of the season is going to matter. I just can't wait to get out there."

HOW IT ALL STARTED

Warzon's path was kind of unconventional. As he describes it, "I kind of came in the back door for education."

He stuck around UNG to work on his graduate degree and teaching certification after his final year of eligibility was up. He was a grad assistant on Tom Cantrell's staff and jumped at every opportunity to hone his coaching craft. 

His march through the learning process carried him to North Gwinnett as a student teacher and assistant baseball coach. 

And later, Warzon found himself at his high school alma mater, Collins Hill, thanks to coach Paul Pierce. 

The then-Collins Hill head baseball and softball coach asked Warzon, on a day he was substitute teaching, 'how serious are you about coaching?'

"One thing led to another and they found a coaching and teaching spot for me," he said. 

It's where his career officially started as the 9th-grade softball coach and varsity assistant as well as a baseball assistant on Pierce's staff. 

"Softball started off great," he said. "I'm an assistant and had the time of my life coaching 9th-grade softball and assisting with the varsity."

A couple of years after assisting with the state championship softball program, Pierce left for Mill Creek, leaving an opportunity for Warzon to step up to the head coaching ranks. 

The Collins Hill administration picked Warzon to replace Pierce as head baseball coach.

He led the Eagles to a 24-8 record in 2016 and a third-round playoff appearance. 

THE PATH TO THE BLUFF

A move to Braselton during his time as head baseball coach at Collins Hill is the reason Warzon eventually landed at The Bluff. 

"I started thinking that this drive is a lot and wanted to get closer to home," he said. "I heard about Cherokee Bluff and loved the community. I took the opportunity when I could to get up here and coach with Jeremy Kemp and do baseball. Now we're here."

WHY SOFTBALL?

"When I first started pursuing this, it was something that had been in the back of my mind," Warzon said. "Our fields are side by side and so I have gotten to look at the field and watch them practice. For a little bit now, it's always kind of been in the back of my mind. It's an awesome program and I felt that it would be a great opportunity if that ever came around. Little did I know some things were in the works with her (Kristi Underwood) leaving and the opportunity came about."

© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Softball: Bluff lures Warzon from baseball to take head softball job
Daniel Warzon thought he wanted to chase a lucrative career in the business world.
11:35AM ( 1 minute ago )
Podcast: The Falcons draft picks; GHSA recruiting rules; UGA's virtual G-Day
The NFL will hold the 2020 Draft virtual. The Georgia Bulldogs will hold a virtual G-Day game -- kind of.
7:03AM ( 4 hours ago )
PODCAST: Hard Left Turn - iRacing IndyCar hits Michigan's high banks
After two weeks on road courses, the IndyCar iRacing Challenge hit their first oval at the virtual Michigan International Speedway.
9:00PM ( 14 hours ago )
Sports
East Hall tabs George Walton's Yancey to take over boys basketball program
For the third time in less than a year, East Hall will have a new coach leading its boys basketball program.
5:20PM ( 4 days ago )
2020 Region RunDown Series: 6-7A football
The newest series on AccessWDUN, our 2020 Region RunDown webcast, will look at each region involving northeast Georgia area teams as we, hopefully, begin preparations for the upcoming 2020-21 sports season...
3:25PM ( 4 days ago )
Catching up with Buford's Gene Durden
Buford girls basketball coach Gene Durden says he feels like a tiger in a cage.
7:05AM ( 6 days ago )
High School Sports
Softball: Adams' homer lifts Wolves past Clarke Central; EHall rolls past Bluff; area scoreboard
Senior Anabel Adams' solo home run in the sixth inning was a fitting ending to Senior Night at the Buford Softball Complex.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:21PM ( 6 months ago )
Brown blasts Vikings past Bluff; Buford rallies to beat No. 6 Archer
Abigail Brown was 3-for-4 with five RBIs and a grand slam to launch the Lady Vikings past Cherokee Bluff, 15-2, Wednesday afternoon on the road...
By AccessWDUN Staff
10:36PM ( 7 months ago )
Softball: Bluff opens with impressive rout of Cedar Shoals
The Cherokee Bluff softball team opened its 2019 campaign in impressive style Tuesday...
By AccessWDUN Staff
10:41PM ( 8 months ago )
Podcast: The Falcons draft picks; GHSA recruiting rules; UGA's virtual G-Day
The NFL will hold the 2020 Draft virtual. The Georgia Bulldogs will hold a virtual G-Day game -- kind of.
7:03AM ( 4 hours ago )
PODCAST: Hard Left Turn - iRacing IndyCar hits Michigan's high banks
After two weeks on road courses, the IndyCar iRacing Challenge hit their first oval at the virtual Michigan International Speedway.
By AccessWDUN Staff
9:00PM ( 14 hours ago )