The American Baseball Coaches Association released Tuesday the names of 11 individuals to be inducted to the ABCA Hall of Fame in January 2018.
Among those listed is new Cartersville High School head baseball coach, Bobby Howard.
Howard will take the reins of the Hurricanes program beginning with the 2017-18 school year after filling the spot vacated by Stuart Chester's move to Buford High School in May.
The induction to the ABCA Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed by the organization which was founded in 1945. The ABCA Hall of Fame began in 1966.
The 2018 ABCA Hall of Fame inductions will be held during the ABCA Convention on January 5, 2018 at the J.W. Marriott in Indianapolis, IN.
Release from the ABCA.org web site:
Bobby Howard, Columbus High School (Ga.)
With a career coaching record of 985-296 (.769) and a total of 12 Georgia high school state championships, Bobby Howard has distinguished himself as one of the most successful high school baseball coaches of all time.
Howard spent the last two seasons as the head coach at Central High School in Phenix City, Alabama, where he led his teams to back-to-back area playoff appearances, including a 2016 7A region championship.
Prior to his time at Central, Howard spent 37 seasons as the head coach at Columbus High School in Columbus, Georgia, where he racked up 12 state championships and eight state runner-up finishes to go along with 29 region championships. In 2004 and 2012, his teams finished the season ranked No. 2 in all national polls.
The 11-time State Coach of the Year was recognized as the ABCA/Diamond National High School Coach of the Year in 2000, as well as an ABCA/Diamond Regional Coach of the Year in 2000, 2005 and 2012. He was also named USA Today's 2004 National High School Coach of the Year and ESPN's National High School Coach of the Year in 2012.
In 2005, Howard was selected to serve as the head coach of the Aflac East High School All-America team, where he had the opportunity to coach the best high school players in the country.
Howard has coached several players who have gone to play professional baseball, including MLB Hall of Famer Frank Thomas. Among Howard's other former players to make it to the Major League Level are Garey Ingram, Reggie Abercrombie and Willie Harris.
As a coach, Howard is a member of the Georgia Dugout Club Sports Hall of Fame, the Chattahoochee Valley Sports Hall of Fame and the Sunbelt Classic Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the Columbus State University and Jordan High School Halls of Fame as a player.
The Jordan High School graduate has coached at several other schools including his alma mater Jordan High, Chattahoochee Valley Community College, Kendrick High School and Middle Georgia College. In his lone year at Middle Georgia, Howard led his team to a 1997 state championship.
The 34-year ABCA member has been a featured speaker at the ABCA Convention and has spoken at several state coaching clinics across the South. Howard has also served the National High School Baseball Coaches Association for five years as a member of the Southeast All-Region and All-America Committee.