The Heber Springs Panthers have found their new baseball coach.

The school’s Board of Education approved the hiring of Monterio May in a special meeting on Friday night.

May has most recently served on the staff at the University of Central Arkansas as the Director of Baseball Operations.

He will begin his duties on Jan. 4 at a prorated salary.

Athletic Director Tim Bullington said the hire of May filled a big need for the Panthers after losing head baseball coach Michael Bramlett who resigned abruptly just before basketball season.

“Highly qualified,” Heber Springs Athletic Director Tim Bullington said.

Those qualifications include a playing career at Central Baptist College. He hails from Troy, Ala.

“He’s a great charisma and character guy,” Bullington said. “Glad to have him.”

May said he is ready to start getting tow know the Panthers’ players and is excited to get going.

He also said he would pull from his mentors especially UCA head baseball coach Allen Gum.

“Well, I’ve learned from the great Coach Allen Gum and he taught me to always fight the good fight everyday, learn how to keep and instill the faith, and always no matter what finish strong,” May said. “I’m ready to hit the ground running and learning these players talents and see if we can advance them even if they only get 1 percent better, we will get better as a team.”

May said he had ups and downs as a player, and has been a part of the sport since a tender age.

“I have been heavily involved with baseball since I was 5,” May said. “I made the Tournament of Stars when I was 16, which is the tryout for team USA.”

That tryout was unsuccessful. From there he signed on to play at Shelton State, a junior college in Tuscaloosa, Ala., but suffered what he described as a devastating UCL injury.”

Thats’ when he transferred to a junior college closer to home in Alabama.

“After diligently working hard to earn a scholarship, God opened a door for me in Conway,” May said. “There was where we won a conference championship and a successful two years.”

He has played a summer of professional baseball, but hung up his cleats for good after an ACL injury.

From there, May “dove into the coaching side.”

He did a one-year stint at Central Baptist and then moved over to Central Arkansas under mentor Gum.

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