Tatum Kitchen will follow Rob French as varsity coach.
Tatum Kitchen doesn't expect to be intimidated by his first high school baseball head coaching position.
After all, Kitchen grew up around the game as the son of longtime Central coach Terry Kitchen, who led the Tigers to four final four berths.
"I was fortunate enough to grow up in a coach's office and a dugout," Tatum Kitchen said. "I was born my dad's second year at Central. I learned a lot from him."
Tatum Kitchen recently was named to lead the Jackson program after Rob French took an administrative position within the school district.
Kitchen was a Jackson assistant the past two years after he served as the Indians' freshman coach in 2007.
"I'm thrilled," Kitchen said. "I think I've coached the majority of the kids at some point, which should be a big advantage."
Kitchen, a 1998 Central graduate, starred in football and baseball for the Tigers. He was a three-year football letterman at Southeast Missouri State.
Kitchen was an assistant at Central in 2005 and 2006 before being hired at Jackson, where he teaches physical education at the middle school.
"I remember when I started out as a volunteer coach at Central [while attending Southeast], my goal was to be a head coach," Kitchen said. "It's exciting."
Jackson athletic director John Martin said Kitchen is a good choice to lead the Indians.
"Tatum's a hard worker. He's been in our district for several years and he's done a good job," Martin said. "We're excited to have him as our head coach."