PRATTVILLE -- Prattville High has never been a championship contender in the world of fast pitch softball, but new coach Brian Pittman has a few ideas about how to change the culture.

“The first thing is, you’ve got to have a plan,” Pittman said. “And it’s got to be bought in not just by the players, but everybody that supports the program as well. The second thing is, you’ve got to work on that mindset every day. It’s getting the kids to buy in that you believe in them and what they bring to that program, that they can win.

“There’s going to be a standard that they’re going to have to live up to, on and off the field.”

Pittman has spent the last three years trying to build Brewbaker Tech into a championship contender and while the Rams never reached the state tournament, his work had not gone unnoticed. He is considered one of the hottest coaches in the area after spending seven-plus years as the softball coach at Southern Union Community College and was an obvious candidate to replace the retiring Chris Goodman at Alabama Christian Academy.

Goodman, in fact, wondered recently why Alabama Christian Academy headmaster Greg Glenn had not made the move and worried that a delay would close the door on the opportunity. Goodman’s worst fears were realized when Prattville High athletic director Martin Jackson snapped up Pittman to replace Caitlin Campbell, the Lions’ coach the past four years.

“Everybody thought I was going somewhere else, to be honest,” Pittman said. “Prattville came calling the Tuesday after Memorial Day. Martin Jackson reached out to me and asked if I would interested in talking with him. They put an offer out there that I really liked. My family went up there and toured and liked everything and felt like that was a spot we could see ourselves for the next 10-15 years.”

Prattville has long been considered a program that supports football and little else. In the 25 years of fast pitch softball, the Lions have reached the state tournament just five times and have gone two-and-out three times, winning one game in 2008 and 2018.

“We played them this year and, to be honest, there’s talent all over that field,” Pittman said. “I think there’s some things that can be adjusted a little bit. They were better than their record this year. They lost two seniors, but the rest of the team is back and you’ve got a great eighth-grade group that will be coming in as ninth graders off a middle school team that lost one game.”

Pittman will keep an eye on his old program as well, certain that Brew Tech has the talent to reach the 5A state tournament in 2022.

“I hate leaving Brew Tech,” he said. “I don’t know what they’re going to do, but I feel like they’ll have some candidates because they’re going to be good the next couple of years, for sure. At the end of the day, I spent three great years there, we did a lot of great things and there are a lot of great people that I’m going to miss. I’ll do whatever I can to help them.”