After coaching baseball at Letcher County Central High School for 10 years, Bryan Dean has accepted a job offer in northeast Mississippi.
“He got a really good offer,” said Arthur “Ozz” Jackson, former LCC athletic director. “It’s really too good to pass up.”
Dean, 43, has been hired to coach baseball and teach social studies at Columbus High School in Mississippi.
Dean said he had turned down other job opportunities during his tenure at Letcher Central in an effort to remain closer to his two oldest children who were both graduated from Sheldon Clark High School in Martin County.
But with his son Bryce, 20, now attending the University of Kentucky and his daughter Kelsey, 19, playing softball at Union College in Barbourville, Dean was free to begin looking at job openings. He considered two offers in Alabama after attending two University of Alabama football games last fall.
As the Cougars began spring practice toward the end of a long, cold winter, Dean decided to pursue a coaching position in a warmer climate.
“It’s time to move on,” said Dean. “I think change is good for LCC.”
Early in his coaching career, Dean was an assistant coach at Owsley County, Breathitt County and Lee County high schools. In 2000, he began his first head coaching job at Powell County High School. Dean’s Powell County teams made three appearances in the state tournament after winning three 14th Region championships.
When Fleming-Neon, Letcher and Whitesburg High Schools consolidated into Letcher County Central, Dean left Powell County to coach the Cougars.
“I recruited LCC,” said Dean. “They didn’t recruit me. ” e
Th team’s record for the 2014-15 season was 14-23. However, the Cougars won three 14th Region championships while performing in 221 baseball games in the 10 years Dean was here.
“That’s a pretty awesome accomplishment,” said Jackson.
Dean said he stayed at Letcher Central as long as he did because of respect for his players and their families.
“You want to be loyal to your kids and parents,” said Dean, who was a single parent during the 2012 baseball season.
Parents of LCC baseball players helped Dean during the 2012 baseball season rear two of his younger children, Brooklyn, now 14, and Cy, 8.
“I couldn’t have coached without their help,” said Dean.
Dean has since married Dianna Dean and together they have seven children. Three of the younger children are Olivia Champion, 10, Nick Champion, 7 and nine-month old Haiden Dean.
Dean’s hiring in Mississippi was approved Monday night by the Columbus Municipal School District. Dean says he is ready to rebuild the baseball program at Columbia High School, which had an interim head coach this past season.
“They have a lot of potential,” said Dean. “The administration is excited.”
Dean said he will miss the players he has coached at LCCHS, but will stay in touch through social media.
The head coaching position at LCCHS hasn’t been posted.