The pieces of the puzzle happened to come together at the right time when Augusta Christian went looking for its new baseball coach.
The school presented Tom Abdo to a small throng of parents and students in the school’s gymnasium Friday morning.
In addition to coaching baseball, Abdo’s duties include football and teaching. He started Monday as a varsity football assistant coach and will be the middle school’s head football coach. He said it was abundantly clear that Augusta Christian was where he needed to be.
“I’ve been in a public school for 12 years,” said Abdo. “Just being in a situation where I can share my testimony and encourage kids to stand on their own and see God on their own is really appealing to me.”
His religious outlook was one of the things that the school’s administration liked when they met him.
“When he came up, I was very impressed with where he is spiritually, and that for us is No. 1 as a faith-based school,” said Lions Athletic Director Marty Griffin.
Abdo replaces Jack Hook, who was the junior varsity coach for six years and the varsity coach the past three. He finished with a 34-32 record after a 15-10 campaign in 2012 and will remain on staff, retaining his duties as math department head. The upcoming accreditation of the math program in 2013 prompted Hook’s decision to step down from coaching at the end of the season.
Abdo was the head baseball coach at Atlantic High School in Port Orange, Fla., from 2001-04, took three years off to sell pharmaceuticals, then returned to the school and coached from 2008-11. He was teaching AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) when the program’s grant ran out.
Enter Lane Lowery, the associate pastor at Warren Baptist Church, who grew up with Abdo and knows both Hook and Piccolo, the head of Augusta Christian. Lowery put the parties together, and after turning down a first offer that did not include coaching, Abdo accepted the second time they came calling.