Wednesday, March 5, 2014
The Green Wave baseball team has a new skipper, but the transition should be an easy one for the players.
Alan Bridges has taken over as the head coach for the Green Wave baseball program. He replaces long-time baseball coach Burt Bazzle, who stepped down in January so he could spend more time with family.
As a former player for the team, Bridges already played a role in establishing the Green Wave’s reputation as a quality program. Now he has a chance to leave a different kind of mark on the Green Wave legacy.
“Summerville is widely recognized as a football mecca,” Bridges said. “However, historically we have an excellent baseball program here with 4A state championships in 1978,1979, 1984, and 2003. I would like to personally thank Pinky Guerard and Burt Bazzle for making the program what it is today. There have only been two head coaches here since 1970. That says something about what a great place Summerville is to coach.”
Bridges has been a coach at Summerville High School for the past 22 years and has served as the head coach for the JV baseball team for the past several years so the varsity players are very familiar with his style and expectations. “I’m more high strung and vocal than Burt but the players know that because I’ve coached every kid on the team,” Bridges said. “My assistant coaches have also been a part of the program for some time.”
Matt Spivey, a member of the 2003 SHS championship team, and John Hayes are keeping their positions as assistants for the Green Wave varsity. Mike Patterson and Bo Charpia will also continue with the program and coach the JV. “I’m fortunate to have those guys,” Bridges said. “I’ve always had a double passion for baseball and football and because I have such faith in them I don’t have to give up coaching football.”
Bridges, a 1981 SHS graduate, was a catcher for the Green Wave for four years and a member of two state championship teams. He was also a member of the 1979 Green Wave football state championship team.
He had offers to play baseball in college, but accepted a football scholarship from Wofford College. After a year there, he transferred to the University of South Carolina but did not play for the Gamecocks. He left USC to enter the workforce, but later attended The College of Charleston and earned a B.S. degree.
Bridges is a physical education teacher at DuBose Middle School. He and his wife, Lisa, have three sons. Corley and Parker are SHS graduates and Sawyer is a sophomore who pitches and plays infield for the Green Wave.