Scott Mullen knew he wanted to work in some capacity with the Beaufort High School baseball program. The question was timing.
On Wednesday, everything came together for the 36-year-old former professional ballplayer. He was approved by the district after interviewing Tuesday.
"We're going to walk onto that field and know we worked harder than the team across from us," Mullen said. "And if we can get my kids to understand the importance of a quality work ethic on and off the field, it could possibly change the chemistry of the team."
Mullen coached Beaufort's American Legion team, the Ospreys, the past three seasons before stepping aside before this season. He takes over at Beaufort High for Brook Dixon, who stepped down in May after seven seasons as the Eagles' head coach.
The hire was announced after a quick search. A lack of a teaching position limited the search parameter, Beaufort High athletics director Jerry Linn said.
Beaufort High assistant Scott Rast, junior varsity coach Bill Allen and Beaufort Middle School coach Mike Rentz also interviewed with the committee, Linn said.
He said Mullen impressed during his interview with a straight-forward approach and for his answers on how to continue building the Beaufort High program. Mullen said he wants to conduct clinics for local recreation league coaches who work with the youngest ages. The focus would be fundamentals with guidelines set for players' progress.
"He was very confident, but not cocky," Linn said. "I'm looking forward to see what we can develop here and move from what I think was a good level up to a higher level. (Dixon) did a good job getting us where we are now. And now we're going to move on from here."
Mullen said the number of returning seniors would lead to high expectations, that the Eagles will need to manage the mental aspect of expected success. He stepped aside from the Ospreys this season in part to coach his children's recreation league teams. But after this year, only one of his kids will remain on the rec level, he said, leaving him more time to focus on Beaufort High.
"I know a lot of the kids; the chemistry is there," he said. "I'm very much looking forward to it and am thankful for the opportunity."
Mullen graduated from Beaufort High and played two years on a baseball scholarship at The Citadel before transferring to Dallas Baptist University. After his junior year, he was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the seventh round of the 1996 draft.
Mullen retired in 2006 and has offered private instruction in addition to coaching recreation league teams and the Ospreys. He works for Servpro.