The Wayne Country Day School baseball team will have a new face of the program when the spring season arrives.
Pikeville native Adam Pate has been named the new head coach of the Chargers. Pate is taking over the WCDS program from Michael Taylor, who stepped down at the end of June.
A baseball lifer, Pate said he is more than ready to handle the challenge of taking over a successful baseball program. Pate added that cultivating essential relationships with his players and doing things the right way will be the pillars of his squad.
“There’s nothing like the camaraderie of a high school baseball team,” Pate said. “I’m excited to start this opportunity and start this avenue of my coaching career at Wayne Country Day, and build a program and culture that the school can be proud of.”
“It means a lot to reach this point.”
In 2010, Pate played baseball for Charles B. Aycock under the tutelage of legendary head coach Charles Davis. During his time in a Golden Falcon’s jersey, Pate posted a .387 batting average, 69 runs and 31 RBIs. Pate also went 15-7 on the mound with a 2.22 earned run average, a 15-7 record, and 133 strikeouts.
After graduating from C.B. Aycock, Pate played baseball at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under head coach Mike Fox and won the Tar Heel’s Francis Tripp Bourne Award for the most dedicated player in 2017.
Pate graduated with a degree in exercise science and then moved back home, where he teaches at North Drive Elementary School.
And for the past two summers, Pate has served as head coach of the Wayne County Post 11 American Legion baseball team. Pate has guided Post 11 to a 46-14 overall record, and 21-3 in Area I East Conference play.
Pate, the husband of Jessica and father of Lainey, noted that it is an honor to serve as the successor to Taylor because he always pushed for his student-athletes’ best and always promoted their success on and off the field.
“It means a lot, and I’m excited about the opportunity I’ll have to lead a group of kids, who are representing their school and play for something like a state championship,” Pate said.
Pate is taking over one of the area’s best baseball programs. Wayne Country Day’s varsity baseball program has had a winning season every year since 2014 and won a state title on 2007.
“The level of baseball I’ve been exposed to and coaching the legion team, there’s definitely no pressure,” Pate said. “When you coach at a level like legion ball, it’s one of those things that’s tough from an administrative perspective, but you’re able to coach some really good talent.
“Legion ball is a good recipe for preparing a coach for anything and get the best out of kids.”
Pate has been around the block enough to know that wins and losses can’t always gauge success. To Pate, success is also valued based on how hard his players compete, develop as upstanding young men and through encouraging them to participate in more than one sport.
Wayne Country Day athletic director David Flowers said Pate was “our number one guy. Adam’s name popped upped immediately, and we called him to see if we could get him in because he’s that good. There are so many different things that he has, and Adam grew up around here, so he knows what Wayne Country Day is about.”
Pate knows that several athletically gifted students walk the Wayne Country Day hallways during the school year and promised to do his best in promoting Wayne Country Day athletics.