BOONE — Be it baseball or football, when Ethan Greene was a student-athlete at Watauga, he was a gritty competitor who didn’t give an inch to an opponent in the batter’s box or a defender on the football field.
Greene was the ace of the Pioneers’ pitching staff and played quarterback for the Watauga football team.
Greene was named the head coach for Watauga’s baseball team July 9. He takes over for Seth Freeman, who is moving away from the High Country.
Greene was the junior varsity coach under Freeman in 2019 and coached Watauga’s two instructional teams during the summer. Greene, who pitched collegiately at Pfeiffer, said he wanted to coach the Pioneers when Freeman resigned.
“I definitely felt I would be interested in it,” Greene said. “I didn’t really expect it to happen this soon. I was happy just coaching the JV and being with coach Freeman for as long as he wanted to coach or how long he wanted to be here.”
Greene turned in several memorable performances while playing baseball at Watauga. None were more memorable than when he came on in relief in the first inning against then No. 1 ranked T.C. Roberson in the second round if the state 4-A playoffs. Greene kept the Pioneers close to T.C. Roberson, but the Rams scored in the bottom of the ninth inning to win 3-2.
Greene moved on to Pfeiffer University, where he set a program record with 27 career wins on the mound. After graduating from Pfeiffer, he returned to Watauga to coach in the Pioneers’ baseball program.
He gained experience with the Watauga JV program and the instructional league games. Greene coached several players that he coached with the junior varsity at some who were on the varsity roster. Greene served as an assistant to coach in the varsity dugout last season.
Greene was also able to coach several incoming freshmen who will be a part of the program short-term and long-team.
“The biggest thing is to know those younger kids coming up,” Greene said. “They got a chance to see what it was like to play high school ball a little bit and they got a look at how our practices work. They got to know our guys that have already been a part of the program and now they can move forward.”
Greene will be able to work with the players, who are not playing a sport, in fall workouts.
“I hope to have some good numbers,” Greene said of the fall workouts. “I know that some that several of our guys will be playing football and we’ll be working with basketball in order to get some of the guys to work out.”