Head Coach Travis Graves Accepts New Coaching Job
FLORENCE, S.C.- It was announced by the Florence RedWolves officially on Wednesday, June 19that head coach Travis Graves will no longer be with the program after having accepted a new coaching position at Delta State University, a Division II program in Cleveland, Mississippi.
The decision for Graves to step down from his head coach position was not something he had planned on doing this season, but with accepting the new position at Delta State, NCAA and Coastal Plain League rules came into place forcing the move.
In the Coastal Plain League, if there is any coach on staff affiliated with a Division I or II school, then Junior College players are not permitted to be on the team, or players from the same school as a coach on staff. Though, if a coach on the team is unaffiliated or is with a Division III or Junior College, then those players are able to be with the team.
In the case for the Florence RedWolves and Graves, Travis was an assistant at Eastfield College, a Junior College outside of Dallas, Texas. With Graves accepting his new role at Delta State, he switches from a Junior College to a Division II school. With that, the RedWolves also have two students from Delta State on their roster and Junior College players. Thus, per NCAA and CPL rulings, Graves cannot be on the field in a coaching capacity.
“This was a great opportunity for my family and myself,” Graves said. “I didn’t want to leave, but I also didn’t have a choice either. The Florence RedWolves are a top-tier, first class organization, and the Coastal Plain League is the best summer collegiate baseball league out there. What these individuals do in order to help us as coaches and our players speaks volumes. They have been a great asset to everything I’ve dealt with in the CPL.”
2017 marked the third year Graves coached in the CPL, but the first time with the responsibility of head coach. He served as an assistant with the Martinsville Mustangs in 2015 and with the Savannah Bananas in the previous season.
While the RedWolves are sad to see him go, they understand the situation given. “We are thankful for the time Travis spent with us while he was in Florence,” said General Manager Barbara Osborne. “It isn’t fun seeing such a great coach go, but we are excited to see his career moving forward. We want the best for him and his wife, Courtney.”
It was stated by the organization that Austin Biggs will take over the duties of head coach while Bobby Campbell will serve as an Assistant for the remainder of the 2017 season.
The Florence RedWolves will be on the road Wednesday and Thursday to Fayetteville and Savannah before returning home on Friday, July 21st for a matchup with Lexington County. Visit www.florenceredwolves.com for more information and tickets.