Varnado names Lester its new head baseball coach

Published 3:01 pm Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Varnado has named Charlie Lester as its new head baseball coach.
“I’m pretty excited about it, just to be around the sports and education atmosphere again,” Lester said. “I want to help the kids understand that education is more important than sports. When I grew up, academics was never the No. 1 priority because I was athletic and had a bright future in baseball. My grandmother always told me that one injury could end your career, but you can always have education in your back pocket.
“I didn’t understand that until I got hurt in college, and then all I had to fall back on was my education. I thought about that after I got hurt.”
Lester suffered a concussion early on in his sophomore year of college. His batting average went from .330 to .256 from his freshman to his sophomore year and he had five more strikeouts. The following year, he tore his labrum.
Lester spent three seasons at Bowling Green School, where he was the head baseball coach for two and an assistant for one, and he was also an assistant football coach for three seasons.
At Varnado, Lester will be the head baseball coach and an assistant football coach.
Lester, who graduated from Franklinton High School, said each player will have to understand his role on the team.
“Not only do you have to accept your role, but once you accept your role, then you can become the player you’ve always wanted to be,” Lester said.
Varnado principal Jennifer Beninato said Lester is coming with experience as a head baseball coach.
“He was at Bowling Green and he’s already been out here this summer. He’s also going to be an assistant football coach working with the kids, getting to know the kids,” Beninato said. “The kids love him, so I’m really excited about his addition to our team.”
Lester takes over the head coaching duties for Clay Tageant, who will be an assistant baseball coach at Franklinton. Tageant helped guide the Wildcats baseball team to the program’s first playoff win last year in his only season.