Adam Chamblee picked to lead Copiah-Lincoln baseball program

Published 9:56 am Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Adam Chamblee, a coach with experience as an assistant in the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference (MACCC), has been tabbed to be the new head baseball coach at Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

Chamblee replaces former CLCC head coach Clay Smith. An alum of the college, Smith coached the Wolves for nine season and finished with a record of 140-212 during that time. He came to Co-Lin after previously being an assistant at Southern Miss and Belhaven University in his career.

A graduate of Winona High School, Chamblee was a starting outfielder on the collegiate level as a player for the University of West Alabama. He was part of a Gulf South Conference championship team at UWA in 2015.

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The first coaching position for Chamblee after graduation was two seasons at the University of West Georgia as a graduate assistant.

The first job for Chamblee in the MACCC came in 2019 when he worked for one season as an assistant at Meridian Community College. The Eagles finished 29-15 that year and Chamblee was also part of a coaching staff that signed standout Loyd Star outfielder James Beard in 2019.

Beard was picked in the fourth round of the MLB draft that year by the Chicago White Sox and signed with the club in lieu of attending Meridian CC.

After leaving Meridian, Chamblee had a brief stint at Nichols State University as the Director of Player Development. He left Nichols for another opportunity in the MACCC as assistant coach at East Central Community College in Decatur.

For the last three seasons, Chamblee has been an assistant and the recruiting coordinator for longtime ECCC head coach Neil Holliman.

Holliman has had more than a few of his former assistant coaches go on to head coaching jobs within the MACCC, including current Pearl River head coach Michael Avalon and current Southwest Mississippi head coach Jack Edmonson. Edmonson was also an assistant under Smith at Co-Lin before being hired at SMCC.

“He’s a guy that’s taught me what it really means to have a work ethic,” said Chamblee of Holliman. “There is a certain intensity that coach Holliman brought to practice every day that’s a big part of the success that his program has had over the years.”

East Central finished 30-17 last season and were eliminated in a NJCAA Region 23 best-of-three series by East Mississippi in May.

The Warriors also went 30-17 in 2021 and made the Region 23 tournament finals, where they lost 7-5 to eventual national champions LSU-Eunice in the region finals.

“We are very excited to have Adam on board as our new head baseball coach,” said Co-Lin athletic director Bryan Nobile in a release by the school. “He comes to Co-Lin highly recommended, and we look forward to him leading our program in the right direction.”

One of the first things that Chamblee will do as head coach is hold a tryout on Wednesday, June 29. The tryout will be held at Brookhaven Academy due to construction taking place at the CLCC baseball facilities.

There is a $20 participation fee and those wishing to tryout need to bring their own equipment. If participants did not compete at any level of high school or collegiate baseball during the 2021-2022 season, they’ll also need to bring proof of a current physical.

The facility improvements at Sullivan Field in Wesson were recently announced by the school in a release. Phase one of the project includes new dugouts, turf on the infield, major drainage work to address erosion, new bullpens, a new backstop, new fencing and new lighting for the field.

Paul Jackson and Sons will handle the construction and the hope is for these upgrades to be finished by the early spring of 2023.

“The Co-Lin Board of Trustees is to be congratulated for its support in facility upgrades to propel the Wolf Pack baseball program into the next era,” said Co-Lin President Dr. Jane Hulon Sims in a release by the school.

The first round of improvements will enhance the looks of the ballpark, but much of the work is the type of preventative maintenance and needed infrastructure updates that most schools deal with annually in the area of athletic facilities.

As schools in the MACCC have overhauled their fields and baseball facilities throughout the last decade, Sullivan Field has remained mostly unchanged.

How does Chamblee plan on selling recruits on his vision for the future of Co-Lin baseball?

“We’ve got to find guys that will take pride in coming in on the ground floor to build something special at Co-Lin,” said Chamblee. “We’re going to try our hardest to get the best players in this area that fit in with us to stay home and play at Co-Lin.”

Chamblee is married to Emily Hester Chamblee and the couple have a daughter named Mills Katherine that was born in April. Emily Chamblee is the daughter of longtime Mississippi high school baseball coach Stacy Hester. Hester has won over 900 games on the high school level and multiple state titles including a 43-0 team in 1996 at New Hope High School.

Local players signed with Co-Lin for next season include recent graduates Trenton Tarver (Brookhaven Academy) and Riley Easterling (Loyd Star).

“I’ve talked to all our signees and all the returning sophomores and they’re all ready to get started,” said Chamblee.

“We’d like to add some more pieces between now and the Fall,” Chamblee said from a summer ball tournament in Alabama on Friday. “I’m just very thankful for the opportunity and I’m ready to get to work. There are more than a few similarities between Co-Lin and East Central, so I feel comfortable in knowing what it’s going to take.