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Black is back with North softball

By Ben Beitzel

Staff Writer

ben.beitzel@gwinnettdailypost.com

It's not like Randy Black really needed to furnish North Gwinnett a resume.

After all, he really never left.

Through some prodding Black, who had been an assistant on the North softball team under former head coach Mike Cavey and also served as head softball coach for the Bulldogs in the 1990s, was elevated recently to his former position as head softball coach at North Gwinnett - a job he was ready to return to.

"I pretty much knew that if I didn't take this job I wouldn't coach again at North Gwinnett and I have been there for 16 years and I really like it," Black said. "I have children that are going to be at North in a few years and I thought it would be nice to coach them also."

Black, a 1979 Greater Atlanta Christian grad, has been involved in athletics at North Gwinnett in some fashion since 1990. During those years he coached basketball and baseball along with softball, and he oversaw the Bulldogs' 1994 transition from slowpitch to fastpitch softball.

A baseball player by trade, Black didn't know much about softball when he signed on to be an assistant the first time in 1990.

"(When asked to be an assistant) I said I don't know anything about softball," Black said. "Now that I have little girls, I really started studying the game, watching a lot of high school and college. My wife played too and I went and watched her a lot."

His wife, Heather, more than played. She was a member of slowpitch state champion teams at North in the 1980s and also played at Reinhardt College. Her prodding also spurred Black back to his old position.

"My wife said, 'You are going to be up there (at North) seeing our kids so why don't you do it,'" he said. "I had a lot of support."

Ironically, it was his family that drove Black out of coaching in 2000 and back to it in 2005. He spent the interim years coaching his older daughters' travel and rec league teams.

After taking the coaching hiatus in 2000, Black returned as an assistant in 2005 under Cavey and helped lead North to a 44-24-2 (14-4 Region 7-AAAAA) record during those two seasons.

"Getting out of coaching is something I did for my family," Black said. "Now that my family can be with me I thought it would be great to get back into it. I was ready to get back to the competitive level and the high school level."

A graduate of Mercer University, Black has four daughters, three old enough to play softball, Katie (12), Kallie (9), Kassie (5) and Kamie (2).

And now the North softball program is back in the hands of the man who helped bring it to this point.

"We had a vision of what we wanted the facilities to look like," Black said of the team's location across the street from the high school. "We wanted it on the corner there where people would drive by and say that is a good facility, but also so that (we) have a good program.

"North Gwinnett is just a great place to be."