Rasmus returns as Russell County baseball coach

PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - He's back.

After one year coaching at Florence High School in northern Alabama, Tony Rasmus has returned home, accepting the head baseball coaching job at Russell County, the school he coached to the AHSAA Class 5A state title in 2005.

"I've never been away from Phenix City my entire life for a long stretch," Rasmus said, "and we had a little success at Florence, but it just didn't feel as comfortable as I wanted it to feel. I missed the place since I left."

Rasmus led the Falcons to a 25-20 record this past season, racking up more wins than the program had seen in the previous four years combined, but he and the school's administration didn't see eye-to-eye on coaching style, which led to his resignation two months ago.

"That was tough for me this past year, to go through that," said Rasmus. "A different place, a different mindset, restrictions out the ying-yang on how to coach and what to do and what to say and how to do it and all that."

In his 13 years coaching at Russell County, Rasmus won 401 games, highlighted by the state title run nine years ago. He said he was excited about his return to Seale. But he was also realistic about having to rebuild a program that went 2-24 in his absence.

"You know, we've always been a blue collar group anyway," he said. "We've had good kids, but we've always felt like we had to work harder because we didn't have the numbers every other school had. It's just going to be dependent on how hard the kids want to work and how quick they work to get us back to where we were."