BEATRICE - On Wednesday, Beatrice Public Schools announced the hiring of a new baseball coach.

Zach Decker, a Beatrice native and tri-athlete Beatrice alum, will take over the program from Chris Belding.

"I thought to myself, I've worked with these kids for five years, helped build the program to what it was," Decker said. "I said you know what, I'm going to give this a shot. I interviewed and I guess Gus [Brown, Beatrice AD] thought I interviewed pretty well."

Decker has been a part of two state titles at Beatrice, both in 2021, with basketball and baseball. As for his philosophy on the game, it's a mix of old school baseball and analytics.

"In baseball you've got to have great quality at bat's, you have to throw strikes and have less errors than the other team," Decker said. "That's my philosophy. There's a lot of little things in baseball that you have to do correctly in order to win. So my philosophy is kind of both ways on the game management side of it."

Often when a coach is released and a new one is brought in, the situation can be rather dire. That isn't the case for Orangemen baseball. Decker takes over a good situation with a state title and semifinal in the last two seasons for Beatrice... What does Decker want people to think of the program with him as head coach?

"The biggest thing is culture. The image of baseball," Decker said. "I want the community to point to the baseball program and say 'those are great kids, great young men, they're helping out in the community. I want five years down the road for our kids to come back to the program and come back and help out, or say thanks for what you did for me. It's bigger than the game for us to think about Beatrice baseball."

A full feature interview with Zach Decker can be heard at 12:45 Thursday on KWBE.