JHS Baseball: Coach Washburn says kids will be at forefront of program

Branson Washburn has been hired as the new head baseball coach at Jacksonville High School. Washburn's goal is to establish a program that puts the kids first and is built upon mutual trust.

Branson Washburn certainly seems like one with the pedigree to be able to construct a successful baseball program from the ground up.

Washburn has been hired to serve as the head baseball coach at Jacksonville High School where he replaces Brandon Orr, who coached the Tribe in the recently completed campaign.

Washburn got his start in coaching prep baseball by working as an assistant coach under Paul Carmon at Rowlett High School.

Carmon is in his 23rd season of serving as a skipper in the high school ranks and he has piled up over 500 wins.

“I am excited to have been selected to steer the ship,” Washburn said during a interview on Wednesday. “The shape of the ball doesn't matter. In establishing a program, winning is a by product. The sport is the least significant; the kids are the most significant.”

Washburn has already been meeting and forging out a rapport with many of the Indian returnees.

“It is important to establish trust,” he said. “Trust is a two-way street. The players must know that they can trust me, and I must be able to trust them.

“Yes means yes and no means no. That's the way things will be.”

Washburn has also served as an assistant football coach at Odessa Permian and at Rockwall. He will coach freshmen football in the fall at Jacksonville and will teach world history classes.

Washburn should be familiar to many as he and wife Beth (Petty) are the youth ministers in the “Cradle to College” program at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Jacksonville.

“We have enormous positives here in Jacksonville,” he said. “We have a community that is completely behind their youth sports, we have the finest natural grass baseball field around here and we have a City that is excited to be a part of the Jacksonville High School baseball program.”

Jacksonville High and the City of Jacksonville will partner to conduct the annual summer baseball camp at the municipal baseball facility this year, according to Washburn.

Washburn said that he is ready to roll up his sleeves and to get started in what he considers to be a very nurturing environment.

“Coach (Wayne) Coleman is so supportive of all the sports here and he is (also) very competitive and he wants all our sports to make the post season,” Washburn said. “He truly is a man that cares.”

“Regardless of what sport we are coaching, we all wear the “J” on our caps.”

The Washburns have three children: Morgan, who is a Jacksonville High student; Ashton, a fifth-grader at Nichols Intermediate and Graham, a third-grader at Eastside Elementary.

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