Tageants coaching together with ‘Knights’
Published 2:56 pm Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Clay Tageant and Evan Tageant have done a lot on a baseball field together.
The two have played on the same team at Franklinton for their father, Franklinton head coach Jeff Tageant, Evan has coached Clay at LSU-Eunice and now the two are getting the opportunity to coach together.
Clay has become the head coach of the Louisiana Knights 15U White Roster for the Louisiana Knights and Evan will be the assistant.
“It’s a great organization,” Clay Tageant said. “I played for Jack (Cressend) with the Knights. That’s what me and Evan are all about — baseball and developing talent in baseball. It’s also an opportunity for us to work on our coaching. Coaches have to work on their game as well and the game is always changing.”
Evan graduated in 2009 and Clay graduated two years later.
“It’s going back to kind of how things were in high school,” Clay Tageant said. “I followed (Evan’s) footsteps out of high school and went to LSU-Eunice. He was a coach there my first year. We’re kind of the Ying and Yang a little bit. Our personalities are different. We know our personalities very well and we mesh well together.”
Over about the last year, Clay has had several accomplishments.
Last year, he pitched for the University of Southern Mississippi in the Conference USA Tournament and then the regionals after the Golden Eagles captured the tourney to advance.
USM came up short in the regionals. The June 5 loss capped off Tageant’s playing career, but he went out strong. Tageant pitched three shutout innings of three-hit ball with a strikeout in the Golden Eagles’ 7-2 loss, their first of the regional, the day before.
For his senior year of college, Tageant recorded a 0.61 ERA in 14-2/3 innings and he appeared in 15 games. He struck out 12, walked 10 and opponents hit just .196 against him.
This past school year, Tageant was named the head baseball coach of Varnado High School and was part of a historic season. The Wildcats won their first baseball postseason game in school history after defeating Kentwood, 11-1, in five innings during the regional round. The sixth-seeded Wildcats had a bye in the first round. Tageant was also named the District 8-1A Coach of the Year.
Clay Tageant will be coaching the team during the summer and the fall. This will not affect his high school coaching status.
Evan Tageant coached as a student assistant at LSU-Eunice in 2012. He then coached the freshman team at Catholic High in 2013. The varsity team won state that year.
In 2014, Tageant was part of the LSU SEC championship team, serving as a manager and bullpen catcher.
In August of 2015, Tageant started the baseball program at Kentwood. The team went 11-3 in his only season there, which was the 2016 season.
“I just haven’t had the opportunity to dive back in and coach,” Evan Tageant said. “The school I’m at right now does not have a baseball program. It’s been a vital part of my life. I played for the Knights in high school. (President) Jack (Cressend) is a very intense guy and expects a lot out of his players and coaches. I’m just excited about getting back at it. We’ve got kids from all over the place. Just very nice guys ready who are ready to learn and I’m looking forward to it.”
Evan Tageant talked about working with his younger brother.
“Me and Clay have been able to ride the roller coaster of the seasons together,” Evan Tageant said. “He’s my little brother. We were very lucky. We were able to go to the same college, win together and live together. Clay is a smart guy when it comes to pitching. I’m a catcher, so my understanding of pitching is better than others, but Clay has one of the better pitching minds.
“He’s worked with great pitching minds (LSU-Eunice pitching assistant coach) Alan Orgain, (University of Southern Mississippi pitching coach) Michael Federico and (Delgado Community College head coach) Joe Scheuermann. I enjoy working with hitters. He’s got a vast knowledge on pitching and I feel I have a good mind on hitting and we have the areas in the game we’re confident in teaching.”
The Knights are an elite travel baseball program that has been around since 2007. The Knights attempt to accumulate as many talented players as possible and help them with their development within the game. The group features teams from 8U through 18U and the program is led by former major league pitcher Cressend.