Craft called following the season, bringing Hawk back as a teacher and pitching coach as the Yellowjackets went 24-17 and made the Class 6A state tournament.
“I couldn’t be more satisfied with their choice at this point,” Craft said.
Hawk said he doesn’t plan on changing much, and for good reason.
The program is on the rise like many of the Choctaw programs. It also has had a solid structure the past five decades.
“I hope to, one, bring a new fire that some of the kids around here haven’t had with my passion for the game,” Hawk said. “I know Craft’s been around for a long time, he’s done so much great stuff and I’ve got a different approach to some things I want to do and there’s a lot of things I want to keep the same that you don’t have to mess with.”
Both Craft and McCharen, who is now the Choctaw superintendent, said the pressure for Hawk really is to help players develop on and off the field.
If that happens, the wins will likely follow.
“I think the pressure is just to do a great job with our kids,” McCharen said. “I think the winning will follow if he has great relationships with the kids. I have no doubt he’s a good baseball person, so it’s about relationships with kids, structuring the program and the coaching part — that’s actually the pretty easy part.”