Robin Jacobs left a huge mark at Brighton High School, and, after 27 seasons serving as the softball coach, he decided to hang it up.
For the first time since the school doors opened, the Brighton administration had to search for a new softball coach and Brian Crowson found the best candidate for the job.
They picked Mady Kate Baugus to lead the Lady Cardinals next season.
Baugus is a 2013 graduate of Tipton-Rosemark Academy and was a part of the 2011 softball team that won the first ever state title in the sport. She continued her athletic career at Bethel University where she majored in Special Education.
After graduating, she began her coach career under Johnnie Sanfretello in 2018 where they advanced to the Division II-A title game. She went on to be an assistant coach at Crestview Middle before becoming the head coach at Munford Middle and starting a dominant era.
In her first two years, she led the Cougars the consecutive appearances to the state tournament.
She may have big shoes to fill, but her insight going into this position is that the path is well drawn out and is easy for her to blend in.
“I don’t think it puts pressure on me,” Baugus said, “I just think it opens up kind of a nice walkway as far as what to just stroll right into. He (Jacobs) has worked so hard to build a wonderful program and I’m just picking up where he left off.”
Sanfretello, who came off a Spring Fling appearance with his team, is a mentor she looks up to the most and shares a lot of his coaching skills to her own.
“I kind of taught after him (Sanfretello) and learned from him first year out of college and first year assistant coach under him. I learned a lot from him in my intensity, grit and focus. Those are three things I took from him, and I still use with my programs today,” Baugus said.
“He definitely helped me set some stepping stones as far as my philosophy to coaching,” she added.
Her style is defensive heavy with strong base running to add.
“I think you’ll see this spring some aggressive base running, some strong defense. You’ll see girls playing as a unit together. I’m big on teamwork and accountability.”
Through it all, not only does she desire to win, but she wants to develop strong relationships with her players.
“I want to help these girls to, of course, be better ball players and to win some games and see how far we get in the tournaments, but I also want to see these girls be better women,” she said.