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Link named baseball, softball coach at Salem

A new era has begun on the baseball and softball fields at Salem High School.

Bobby Link was named the head coach of both teams earlier this week, athletic director Darren Wilkins confirmed. In the baseball dugout, Link will take over for Chad Kitchens, now the coach at Monroe Area, and it will be Link’s first time coaching softball, as he replaces Ronald Miller.

While it will be a first for Link to lead a softball team, his baseball background is extensive.

As a player, he was drafted three times in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, including by the Cleveland Indians in the 27th round of the 1985 draft after playing at Florida’s St. Leo College. Link signed with the Indians and after a trade got as far as Triple-A with the Detroit Tigers in 1990.

After his playing career, Link coached at Florida Community College, where he was the pitching coach, and at Orange Park High School. Once back in Georgia (he attended Brookwood Prep in Thomasville), Link was the head coach at Duluth High School, a team which included former Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann. His previous head coaching stint was at Glynn Academy in Brunswick.

“We were impressed with Bobby’s experience,” said Wilkins. “As a coach he has had great success and has developed a large number of players for college or professional baseball. Coach Link also impressed us with his desire for his players to be good students and role models. We are pleased to have someone with the experience of coach Link lead our program.”

The softball team, which went 9-12 a year ago, begins the Link era at county rival Rockdale on August 9.