Mobley will take over in the revolving door that has been Griffin High softball lately. The Lady Bears have had three different softball coaches in four years: Roger Alford, Jerry Fields and Charlton Boyt. It's been steadier in baseball as Mobley will replace long-time head baseball coach Jamie Cassady, who was athletic director and coach from 2000-2012. Cassady recently accepted a position as principal at A.Z. Kelsey Academy and Achievement Center.
Mobley, 37, comes to Griffin High from Locust Grove Middle School where he taught but didn’t coach. Prior to Locust Grove Middle, he was the head baseball coach at Washington County High in Sandersville, Ga. for four years. But the newest Griffin Bear does have some softball coaching experience — his first two years at Washington County were spent coaching the softball team as well.
“Coaching girls is definitely a challenge, but it’s one I’m used to and so far, I have no problem with these young ladies,” said Mobley, who has also umpired plenty of high school softball games. “Both softball and baseball are a lot alike and I’m looking forward to working with both teams.”
As far as softball goes, Mobley said he is ready to work with a talented group of girls, which despite losing four impact seniors, should be good enough to win this year.
“We lost some seniors, but we will have at least 3 or 4 more seniors this season. I think we’ll have some good leadership this year,” said Mobley, who’s originally from Vidalia, Ga.
Mobley, whose wife Dana is from Griffin, said his style for both sports is very aggressive and if he has to play small ball to get runs home, he will definitely do that.
“I want to put pressure on our opposing defenses and make them make plays,” he said. “If they have to make a lot of plays, there’s a good chance for a few errors along the way.”
Mobley also said the Lady Bears and Bears will focus on playing good defense behind the pitchers. He wants the pitchers to have confidence that their teammates will be able to make plays behind them. Mobley will definitely keep a close eye on the pitching for both squads, since that is his area of expertise. Mobley pitched at Vidalia High and also at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville for four years. After college, he pitched five years of Minor League Baseball in the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers' organizations before coaching at GCSU.
“One thing I know that as a pitcher, you want to be able to strike everyone out. It can't happen like that all the time,” he said. “You’ve got to trust your teammates when you’re on the mound.”
Mobley will work with assistant coach Fred West in softball and baseball and work with Rodney Risper in softball. He probably will add another coach to the baseball staff as well.
Mobley said Locust Grove, Woodland and crosstown rival Spalding will be the toughest softball teams in their new region this year and he said he looks forward to playing Spalding in baseball for the first time in a very long time.
“It will be fun playing Spalding this year. I’ve known Mickey Moody over at Spalding for a long time,” Mobley said. “He joked with me that Griffin will never beat Spalding in baseball, so that just adds fuel to the fire.”