Jeff Brabant is disappointed that he is no longer the coach of the Billings Scarlets. But he still wants to see the team succeed.
Brabant, 32, was fired last week as the coach of the Billings American Legion baseball team. Cory Hansen was hired as Brabant's interim replacement for the remainder of this season.
"I'm disappointed," said Brabant this week. "It came as a total surprise … there was no warning. But I'll move on and the team will move on.
"Cory (Hansen) is a friend of mine and I wish him well. He's got a great bunch of kids to work with. They have a great chance to win it all this year, and I hope they do."
Though he guided the Scarlets to a 41-20 record in his only season (2002) as coach, the Billings American Legion Board removed Brabant because they felt he "wasn't the leader we needed to go forward," according to board chairman Jeff Ballard.
The Scarlets had played just three games under Brabant this season, with five others rained out.
"It basically came down to a difference in coaching philosophy. I have a philosophy and the board didn't agree with it," said Brabant. "That's their prerogative."
The Legion Board offered Brabant the chance to stay on as Hansen's assistant coach. Brabant said he "seriously considered" the offer, but ultimately declined.
"I just decided I didn't want to put the kids or Cory in an awkward position by staying on," he said. "They will have a tough enough time adjusting to a coaching change in the middle of a season … it would have been even tougher with me there as the pitching coach."
Brabant said it's "not likely" that he will seek a coaching position within the Billings Legion program again.
"I have an offer on the table to coach at the college level," he said. "It's not a done deal yet, but that's my plan right now. Cory (Hansen) will do a good job with the Scarlets, and I'll move forward with my career."