West Jones softball assistant Drew Fiala has been school board approved as Raleigh High School’s next head softball coach.
"It's always been a dream of mine to be a head coach ever since I started coaching," said Fiala. "I give all the credit to Coach [Corey] Tolbert, who gave me my first coaching job period [as an assistant] at West Jones."
Fiala is also a graduate of West Jones High School.
“Also Coach [Chris] Robinson at Jones College and Coach [Wendy] Hogue at Southern Miss are coaches who helped me along the way and are coaches I look up to. This is a huge opportunity for me.”
After graduating from West Jones, Fiala pursued a career in coaching at Jones College and Southern Miss. Fiala said he gained valuable experience while attending both schools and helping out coaches at both programs.
"Right now, I'm about to finish up my Master's degree at William Carey," added Fiala.
Fiala will also assist in volleyball.
"Softball is a game I've grown to love," said Fiala. "It's been a crazy first two years of coaching. My first year was our COVID year. There were so many rules and regulations to follow this past season. In some ways [with all of this in my first couple of years], I've been thrown into the fire, but I love it. Hardships make you a better coach.
“Helping with volleyball will be something new for me. I’ve been studying up on it and learning all I can.”
Last season at West Jones with Fiala as an assistant, the Lady Mustangs finished 10-8 overall and claimed the Region 5-5A title. West Jones advanced to the third round of the 5A playoffs.
Fiala is headed to a Raleigh softball program that is no stranger to success. The Lady Lions advanced to the Class 3A Championship Series, losing to Booneville 1-0 and 6-1. Raleigh finished the 2021 season, 21-8.