A former assistant baseball coach at Eagle Point High School has been hired to take over the Ashland High softball program, the school announced Wednesday.

A former assistant baseball coach at Eagle Point High School has been hired to take over the Ashland High softball program, the school announced Wednesday.

Jeff Turner, who coached baseball at Dallas High for five years before serving as an assistant at Eagle Point last season, replaces Misty Potochnick, who resigned to spend more time with her family.

This will be the first head coaching job for Turner, who graduated from Ashland High in 1999.

"(Turner) will face a learning curve transitioning to softball but has immersed himself in learning the unique nuances of the sport of softball and will surround himself with people who have a strong softball background," Ashland High athletic director Karl Kemper said through a press release. "He was the candidate that best represents the values we look for in a leader and we are confident he will work as hard as any coach in the state to provide the best instruction possible to his athletes."

Potochnick replaced Robin McCormick in 2006 and guided the Grizzlies through four mostly successful years. Ashland qualified for the Class 5A state tournament in '07 and '08, losing in the second round both years.

The third-place Southern Sky Conference finish in '07 clinched the Grizzlies' first playoff berth since '01, and they followed that up with a league title the following year.

"We appreciate the hard work and dedication (Potochnick) put into building the program during her time here," Kemper said. "Coach Potochnick will be missed but has handed the reins off to a quality individual that will continue to build on the strong foundations she laid."

Turner coached at Dallas High from '04 through '08 before joining the Eagles last season.

"Coach Turner embodies all the qualities that we value at AHS," Kemper said. "He is a strong leader who truly cares about the total development of the student-athletes that he coaches."