After 13 years at the helm of Eufaula baseball, Nathan Black is stepping away from the program, though he will remain at the school as a teacher and still assist with football.
“My son (Ethan) is going to play at Southern Union next year and I am going to watch him some,” Black said. “I have done it for 20 years and I think that is enough. I am going out on a good note and I think I have left the program better than when I got here. It was time I felt like (to step away).”
Black leaves after guiding the Tigers to one of their most successful seasons, finishing 21-10 this year. The 21 wins was a high-water mark during his tenure and is one of the top marks in the school’s baseball history. Eufaula was one win against Opelika away from making the state playoffs.
Eufaula had several other good teams under Black, but were often blocked from the state playoffs by powerhouse Charles Henderson or tradition-rich teams Rehobeth and Headland.
A 1990 graduate of Monroe County, Black came to Eufaula in 2009 and said his family has enjoyed its time in the city of nearly 14,000 off Lake Eufaula.
“We didn’t know anybody when we got here and they took us under their wing and now our kids live here and we have grandkids,” Black said. “We plan on being here for a long time.
“The (Eufaula school) system in itself was a good fit for me, my family and our four boys. When we got here at Eufaula High School in 2008, it reminded me of Monroe County back in the late 1980s and early 1990s when I went to school there. That had a lot with me coming here – the people and the close-knit community.”
His three step-sons all graduated from Eufaula – Gary (2010), Gavin (2012), Gunter (2015) – and his youngest son Ethan is set to graduate on May 22. All but Gunter played for him at Eufaula.
“I want to thank my wife Allysia and my kids for being by my side during my coaching career and I also want to thank the many coaches who have shared their knowledge with me,” Black said.
Prior to his tenure at Eufaula, Black was the head coach of his alma mater, Monroe County, from 2005-08.
He was an assistant coach at Monroe County for four years prior to being named head coach.
“The administration here has been really good to me here,” Black said. “(Superintendents) Dr. (Barry) Sadler and Joey Brannon and all the principals have been good that I have worked for – Steve Hawkins, Sean Clarke and now Reevice Girtman all have stood behind us and I thank them for that in my years here.”
Black said he will continue to serve as a driver education teacher and as assistant football coach at the school.