When Burnet High School needed a new softball coach, they found the perfect match within its coaching ranks.
“I’m excited,” Hailey Wooten said. For the past two years, she has been an assistant softball coach at the school. “Burnet felt like home. I like (the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District community), and I love the people I work with. I do think (athletes) learn through passion. I love the game.”
Wooten developed her softball skills just down U.S. 281, playing the sport at Marble Falls High School until graduating in 2013.
BCISD Athletics Director Kurt Jones recently announced Wooten’s promotion along with the hiring of Nathan Redman as the district’s new head tennis coach.
Picking Wooten to take over the softball program just made sense, Jones pointed out.
“We felt like we had our head person right here,” he said. “We think she’ll do a good job leading that program. She understands girls athletics; she knows and understands that world. She’s really well-organized and motivates young ladies.”
Wooten graduated from Tarleton State University in Stephenville in 2016. She spent a year at Glen Rose High School before becoming the head coach at Tolar High School in the 2017-18 academic year.
After two years in Tolar, Wooten returned to the Highland Lakes to be closer to family.
She understands the work and effort, both as player and coach, that goes into playing softball.
She recalled a Lady Mustangs practice under former head coach David Orsag that didn’t end until five players in row could lay down a bunt.
“We stayed there all night until five of us could lay it down,” Wooten recalled. “He did not let up. To this day, I could lay down a bunt if I needed to.
“We weren’t happy at the time,” Wooten said of Orsag’s practice, “but it’s something I look back on and appreciate.”
She noted most of the Lady Dawgs are underclassmen, and developing a pitcher is a high priority.
“I know we have a good group coming up,” she said. “You have to have pitching to be successful, and we have people who have potential. I want to create a program. I don’t plan on going anywhere.”
Redman is coming to Burnet from Corpus Christi Flour Bluff.
Jones was impressed during Redman’s interview.
“He blew us away,” Jones said. “We feel like we need stability in our (tennis) program, and he’s someone who wants to be here for awhile.”
Jones noted that the head tennis coach leads the program at the high school and is involved with the middle school program as well. Redman outlined his vision for how he will develop players on every level, which put him at the top of the list.