Berkmar hires Book as baseball coach

When last school year ended, Ross Book wasn't sure if he'd have a job the next year.

Turns out, he's got two.

A 2005 Duluth graduate, Book was hired by Berkmar in its physical education department and as its new head varsity baseball coach. He replaces Will Azbell, who left to take an assistant job at Brookwood.

"At the time (I learned of the opening), I didn't know it was a head coaching job," Book said.

Book interviewed for the job and was hired on the spot by Berkmar principal Michael Zinn.

"He welcomed me with open arms," Book said. "Made me feel very relaxed."

Book played baseball at Duluth and in college at Truett Mcconnell and North Georgia College and State University, but this is his first head coaching job. He coached over the summer with a travel baseball team.

"It definitely didn't sink in when I first got the job," Book said. "I couldn't believe it. It was a dream come true to have an opportunity to be a head coach at Berkmar, in the region that we are in."

That region is 8-AAAAA, one of the toughest in the state with two-time defending champion Parkview and 2008 champion Brookwood. This past season, Parkview, Brookwood and Grayson were all state semifinalists out of that region.

"Obviously we are in the toughest region in the state," Book said. "It's going to be tough, no doubt about it. My goal for this team is to respect the game and play it hard, play it well. Wins and losses, that is going to come and go."

Book, who is engaged and has a 2-year-old son, is young for a head job at 25, but said he is excited about this opportunity.

"It's an absolute blessing," Book said. "It's an opportunity that some don't get in a lifetime. I am very, very appreciative and blessed."