Post 19 Seniors

Post 19 Seniors’ Beasley steps down; Hamilton takes top spot in program

August 25, 2023

Main Street Maury

Scott Beasley, a member of the Post 19 Seniors team that won the 2007 American Legion World Series, will step down as the program’s head coach after spending 11 seasons in that role. Post 19 won the Tennessee state championship in each of his 11 years, including an ALWS appearance in 2014, to extend its string of consecutive state titles to 14. RIC BEU / MAIN STREET MAURY

Moving up the ranks is a basic structure of the military.

So it stands to reason that same concept would be reflected with American Legion baseball.

After 11 years as coach of the Columbia Post 19 Seniors team, Scott Beasley announced he’ll be stepping back from day-to-day duties and will be replaced in that position by J.T. Hamilton.

A Zion Christian graduate who played three years at Freed-Hardeman after transferring from Roane State, Hamilton has previously served as coach of the Post’s 15U and 17U teams, as well as assisting Beasley with the Seniors. He also played in the program with both the 17U and Senior squads.

“He’s a kid that obviously loves the program and has put a lot of time into the program over the last several years,” Beasley said. “That was obviously a big factor in deciding to give him the opportunity.”

J.T. Hamilton (right), who coached the Post 19 Cyclones to the American Legion 17U state championship this summer, will take over the Post 19 Seniors for the 2024 season after Scott Beasley’s recent resignation. Beasley will remain involved with the Seniors, but in a lesser role. RIC BEU / MAIN STREET MAURY

Beasley, a member of the Post 19 2007 American Legion World Series championship team, ascended to the top coaching spot in 2013, following Mickey McKeel in the role. A year later, Post 19 advanced to the ALWS, and the team has won the Tennessee state tournament title in each of Beasley’s subsequent seasons.

In his final campaign, Beasley led Post 19 to a spot in this summer’s American Legion Southeast Regional tournament, where the team won its opener before dropping its final two contests to finish 25-7 on the year.

“Scott had an unbelievable 11 years leading our program. I’m so proud of him,” McKeel said. “I coached him. He was in the program a long time. I’m super proud of how he did and what he accomplished as a coach.”

With his sons – Will, 5, and Jack, 2 – approaching the ages that they’ll be more active athletically, the 34-year-old Beasley decided this was the time to take on a lower-profile position with the program.

“I’ll kind of be in a ‘moral support’ role – scheduling, recruiting, that side,” he said. “Me and Mickey had been talking about it for a year or two. I knew going into the summer this was likely it as far as on-the-field stuff, but I didn’t want it to be public. 

“Throughout the season, we talked to people about potential interest, and got more serious after the season was over, talking to people in the community that might have interest. Behind the scenes, it’s been going on for about two or three months.”

Longtime Post 19 Seniors coach Scott Beasley has confirmed he will step back from that role for the 2024 season, J.T. Hamilton, who coached one of the Post’s two 17U teams this past summer, will take over the top spot with the Seniors next spring. RIC BEU / MAIN STREET MAURY

McKeel, who has served as manager of the Post 19 baseball program since coming off the field, and Post baseball chairman Donny Walters were both involved along with Beasley in the decision to promote the 23-year-old Hamilton to the top spot.

“Two things: He’s an alumni of Post 19. We put heavy emphasis on that,” McKeel said. “And No. 2 was his passion. He’s got a passion for the game, and that won us over.

“We told J.T., before he got the job, we’re not looking at him for one year – we’re looking at 10 years. I did it for 12 years, Scott did it for 11. We hope J.T. does it for 11, at least.”

And while Hamilton’s age was a hurdle, he brings more coaching experience to the position than his predecessor.

“When I took over Post 19, I’d coached (in) a lot of leagues – Little League, Babe Ruth, all the way up,” McKeel said. “But Scott took the team with no coaching experience. He did such a great job, it made our decision that much easier to let J.T. have a shot at it.”

Youth and relative inexperience aside, the position wasn’t something Hamilton was going to turn down.

After coaching one of the two Post 19 17U teams this summer, J.T. Hamilton will step into the Post 19 Seniors head coaching role vacated by Scott Beasley for the 2024 season. Hamilton played for the Post, in addition to completing his high school playing career at Zion Christian and playing collegiality at Roane State and Freed-Hardeman. RIC BEU / MAIN STREET MAURY

“Post 19 is something that means a whole lot to me,” he said. “It’s more than just baseball. I think it’s a great opportunity and it’s hard to pass up that opportunity. Coaching the 17U team this summer and winning the state championship, I learned a lot about myself as a coach.”

As he fills the coaching role, with Beasley becoming more of a manager and McKeel an advisor, Hamilton intends to change very little on the field.

“I think it’s business as usual – continuing what Scott has instilled in the program and carrying that discipline throughout my tenure,” he said. “Scott has laid a great foundation for me to pick up and run with. I think it’s laid out for me.

“Talking with Scott when he offered, he’s like ‘I’m going to help you with this, I’m not going to drop it all on you at one time’. A lot of the decisions will still go through Scott and Mickey as well, and I’m very happy to have that helping hand going into it. I think that’ll help with learning along the way. For them to have that trust in me to lead this program, I think I’ll be OK, especially with them by my side.”