The Buford fastpitch softball team found out Wednesday afternoon that there will be a change in leadership for the 2021 season.
Longtime head coach Tony Wolfe announced his retirement from softball to focus on his duties as the Wolves’ athletic director, and he will be replaced his one of his assistants, Trent Adams. Adams was previously associate head coach for the softball team under Wolfe.
Wolfe went 429-78-2 with 11 region championships and 10 state championships in 14 seasons as Buford’s head softball coach. He won 10 straight state titles, as the team rose from Class AA to AAAAA, from 2007-2016.
In 2019, he was inducted into the Georgia Dugout Club Softball Hall of Fame. He spent a number of those seasons pulling double duty as the Wolves’ head baseball coach for 21 seasons.
Wolfe won two more state titles as head baseball coach and had a career baseball coaching record of 441-192. He also was a 2019 inductee into the Georgia Dugout Club Baseball Hall of Fame.
“My heart says keep coaching and my head kind of tells me it’s time (to retire),” Wolfe said. “Obviously, being athletic director makes it a little more difficult to be a coach. Being an athletic director in a COVID year, there were times when I was late to practice or missed practice altogether because of COVID or contact tracing. Our kids deserve more than that. And honestly, I’m 61. I know all of you think I’m 41, but I feel 81 sometimes. It’s harder to do everything.
“And quite frankly, Trent Adams is ready. I’m just so sure it’s his time to shine and bring an energy. He was with me my last 10 baseball seasons and all 14 softball seasons and he brings such a wealth of knowledge and energy. I personally think he’s the best softball coach in Georgia and I have for years.”
Adams, a native of Lumpkin County, has spent his entire coaching career at Buford. In additional to his softball duties, he is the lead assistant for head coach Stuart Chester and the Wolves’ baseball program. In both sports, the former Truett-McConnell baseball player specializes in his work on pitching and defense.
While Buford’s softball players were sad about Wolfe’s retirement, they were excited their new coach is a familiar one.
“(Adams) is an exceptional human being and an exceptional ball coach,” Wolfe said.
Adams’ two children are Buford grads, including a daughter who played in the softball program.
“I’m excited and honored and blessed to have this opportunity to continue to build relationships with our players,” Adams said. “I’m excited and blessed to lead such a fine program. We lost a talented group of seniors, but I’m excited about what we have coming back and about filling in those holes from the (players) we’re losing.”
The new coach doesn’t plan major changes from a program that has found a formula for prosperity.
“With Tony, being there so many years and being around him, I feel like learned from him there’s more to softball than ball games, it’s about building relationships and those things,” Adams said.
With softball off his schedule, Wolfe can focus more on his role as Buford’s athletic director. But he will miss the coaching aspect, too.
“The hardest part for me is not being around the coaches every day and not being around the kids every day,” he said.