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Norcross' Collins steps down for college job

Norcross' baseball program has a head coaching vacancy at an odd time after longtime coach Andy Collins stepped down to take a position at the college level.

Collins informed his players this past Friday that he had accepted an assistant coaching position at Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tenn. He had been Norcross' baseball coach since he was hired in June, 2004.

Norcross athletic director Kirk Barton said he will begin the search immediately for Collins' replacement.

"We've got great kids, great facilities and great support," Barton said. "We should be able to get some good applicants. If we need to go with an interim coach for (2012) we will and then we'll open it up after the season. But if we get a great candidate now, we'll fill it now."

Collins has several ties to Tusculum, where his youngest brother Tyler will be a senior pitcher next spring. He also played college baseball at Gardner-Webb with longtime Tusculum head coach Doug Jones.

The 38-year-old also has considerable college coaching experience, having worked at Gardner-Webb from 1996 to 2002. He also coached briefly at Johnson-Gainesville before taking the Norcross job.

Collins, a South Gwinnett grad, had a 98-69 record as Norcross' head coach, higlighted by his 2005 team, which won 23 games and lost to eventual state champion Brookwood in the second round of the state playoffs.