It didn’t take long for Davey Dewitt to find a new home to coach softball.
Dewitt, who in late May stepped down at Enterprise following eight seasons as head softball coach, was recently hired by Meridian High School as an assistant coach for both slow- and fast-pitch. The hiring was approved at the Meridian Public School District’s board meeting June 17.
After spending 12 years at Enterprise — four as an assistant coach under Josh Perkins and eight as head coach — Dewitt said in late May he was looking to take an assistant coaching job somewhere and dedicate time to teaching the sport without the stresses of being a head coach. Meridian ended up being the right fit, as he’s known Lady Wildcats head coach Mark Davis for a long time, and the job at Meridian wouldn’t force him to move from the city of Enterprise.
“My two girls are still at Enterprise, so I won’t be too far from them, and I can still see them play,” Dewitt said. “The drive to work is a little farther, but it’s not that bad. I’m really grateful for the opportunity.”
Davis said he heard in early April that Dewitt told his players at Enterprise he would be stepping down as head coach following the season. He then sent Dewitt a text congratulating him on a successful career and offering him a spot on his coaching staff if Dewitt was interested.
At the time, Dewitt told Davis he didn’t know what his plans were, and the Lady Bulldogs ended up making it to the MHSAA Class 2A state championship round in the playoffs. After the series was over, Dewitt reached back out to Davis.
“He sent me a text and asked if the offer was still on the table, and I said, ‘Absolutely,’” Davis recalled.
After getting it approved by Meridian athletic director Chuck Butler, Davis said he was elated to have a coach on staff who helped lead Enterprise to one slow- and two fast-pitch titles during his time as an assistant under Perkins and also guided the Lady Bulldogs to five state title series as a head coach.
“It’s a grand slam hire for us,” Davis said.
After helping out with Meridian’s summer workouts, Dewitt said he’s enjoyed his time working with the team so far and stressed that he had no plans to come in and completely take the reins.
“Mark and I have known each other for a long time,” Dewitt said. “He’s a great coach, and I really think it’s going to be a good fit. I’m not going to come in and try to do this and that. They’ve had success, and I’m going in to bring some ideas to the table and help where I can.”
The Lady Wildcats coaching staff already includes younger coaches E’trareo Warren and Charles Lockley, as well as long-time coach Curtis Grace. All were in favor of adding Dewitt to the state when the opportunity arose due to Dewitt’s coaching style.
“One thing about (Dewitt) is his teams are always prepared to play,” Davis said. “They’re going to battle you the entire time. He has a good rapport with our kids, and they all seem to like him.”
It also doesn’t hurt that Dewitt was associated with teams that were constantly competing for state titles, Davis added.
“You don’t do that by accident,” Davis said.
So far, Dewitt said he’s seen a lot of potential in the girls he’s helped coach this summer.
“There are some young girls that are just going into the seventh grade, and I’m really liking what I’m seeing from them,” Dewitt said. “The older girls are consistent. It’s going to be fun.”
In just a short amount of time, Davis said Dewitt has gotten used to the team almost instantly.
“Honestly, it’s probably been as smooth a transition as I’ve ever seen,” Davis said. “This group is one of the most coachable group of kids I’ve been around. He’s working with the pitchers, catchers and infielders, and you can see how they’re attentive and listening to hi. They’ve bought in. It may be a little bit of an adjustment, because our girls are a little more raw than most teams, but he’ll definitely have some good athletes to work with.”
Dewitt will be on staff at Meridian High School as a driver’s education teacher.