Bill Batchelor, 36, is in his fifth season as the head softball coach at Brookwood. The married father of two has been one of the most successful coaches in the county since taking over the reins of the Broncos after three years as an assistant.
In this latest installment of "Getting to Know ...," Batchelor talks with staff writer Corey Clark on a variety of topics, ranging from last year's heartbreaking loss in the finals to his fondness for television to former star pitcher Lisa Norris.
CC: Where did you go to high school?
BB: I went to Tattnal Square in Macon. It's a small school, my graduating class was about 50.
CC: Were you the superstar athlete there?
BB: No, I wasn't. I played basketball and baseball. I had a real good curveball, but my fastball ... couldn't break glass if I was standing in my own bedroom.
CC: And on the basketball court?
BB: I was a role player. I think the most points I ever scored was 18.
CC: How long have you been married?
BB: How long have I been married? It's coming up on, I guess 12 years on Oct. 30.
CC: Twelve glorious years, right?
BB: Oh, yeah, of course. My wife and my children are in the car with me (during the interview), so yeah everything's been great.
CC: How long did last year's state title loss stay with you? Do you ever really shake it?
BB: No, it doesn't go away. But now I'm able to sit back and enjoy the season we had. I wish it would have ended with a state championship, but during the season you just focus on that so much that you don't have time to enjoy it. Like I didn't appreciate the 37-game winning streak, I didn't appreciate how hard our kids worked and what we accomplished. But I do now. I can sit back and enjoy it. But I still talk about it with the kids from last year, and yeah, it still hurts. My wife says I need to let it go.
CC: But that's pretty hard to do, huh?
BB: Yeah, you know, I replay every little thing that went on. It's still tough and I don't know that it goes away.
CC: So what's the deal, you couldn't pull any strings and get Lisa back for a fifth year of eligibility?
BB: (laughs) No, I couldn't do that. I talked to her last week actually, and she hit a bomb in her second at-bat in a fall game (for North Carolina).
CC: While you were coaching her, I'm sure you probably understood that she was probably a once-in-a-lifetime talent for you?
BB: Yeah, she is one of a kind. We've had a bunch of good softball players come through here, but just watching her over the years, she's the best I've ever seen. She can do it all - run, throw, hit for power, just everything. She was just phenomenal. And I hope that everybody else got to see her play too and appreciate how good she was. And on top of all that, she was a great kid to coach.
CC: How did you get into coaching softball in the first place?
BB: I knew I wanted to coach when I got out of college. I was a recreation major and when I got out of college, I went to work with the Fulton County Parks and Recreation, and I did some rec league stuff ... and I basically hounded (Brookwood athletic director) Coach (Dave) Hunter until he hooked me up with Rick Howard. They took a shot on me and it's worked out real well for us.
CC: Have you ever met a celebrity?
BB: Well, I guess I have. When I was working with Fulton County, (NBA player) Dale Davis came to speak to the kids. And he went up and did a dunk for the kids and broke his Rolex.
CC: And that's why you never dunk with a Rolex on, everybody knows that.
BB: Yeah, you shouldn't do that.
CC: What celebrity would you most like to meet?
BB: I will say either Michael Vick or Tim McGraw.
CC: What is your favorite TV show right now?
BB: Wow, we watch so much TV, it's hard to pick just one. We're TV addicts. We're into the police dramas and the "Amazing Race," "Survivor," all that. We've got a pretty strenuous schedule, our TiVo and VCR are always running.
CC: Well what was your favorite one growing up?
BB: Growing up, I always watched "SportsCenter." In high school, that's what I watched. "SportsCenter" and MTV.
CC: Who was your favorite band back then?
BB: Oh, all the hair bands. Motley Crew, Guns 'N' Roses, Poison. All of them.
CC: All of the classics, huh?
BB: All of the greats, yeah.
CC: When you were 10 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
BB: I wanted to be a baseball player. I wanted to be a pitcher in the major leagues, no doubt.
CC: When did you realize that wasn't in the cards?
BB: I probably realized it when I saw the radar gun hitting under 70 or 75. And I'm sitting there thinking, I'm no Phil Niekro. I'm no knuckleballer, so I might want to think about something else. And the last thing on my mind was being a teacher. My teachers in school would be blown away to know that I am now a teacher.
CC: Most people I interview always knew they wanted to be a coach, but that's not the case with you?
BB: Yeah, I hear a lot of people say that, but I guess in school I was more of a free spirit, a piece of work. I did my own thing and had fun.
CC: Can you cook at all?
BB: Can I cook? No. Well, my wife just said (heck) no. I can't cook at all. But I can eat. I can eat with the best of them.
CC: So no special recipes or anything?
BB: Well I used to be able to grill, but my wife says I burn everything. I can't cook anything, really. Well, I am the best slice-and-bake cookie maker ever, though. My kids love that.