Former BNL assistant taking over Brownstown baseball


Duane Higgs is a teacher first.

One year ago, he applied to teach at Brownstown Central High School, but things didn’t work out. He left knowing he made a good impression, though.

Higgs, an assistant baseball coach at Bedford North Lawrence, knows Brownstown head coach Brandon Tormoehlen. He knew Tormoehlen might be leaving, and as a result, decided to jump at the opportunity to try to be the next Brownstown baseball head coach.

The next time the Braves take the diamond, Higgs will be at the helm. He is also teaching business math and Project Lead the Way at Brownstown.

“I’m a teacher first and foremost,” Higgs said. “I really enjoy being a teacher, and Brownstown Central is a great corporation for being a teacher. They treat their teachers very well.

“I have all the respect in the world for coach Tormoehlen and what he did at Brownstown. Very happy to be a part of Brownstown baseball. Lots of history there, and I’m really excited to be a Brave.”

Tormoehlen was the head coach from 2018 to 2021, and the sole reason he decided to leave was to be closer to his family in Sellersburg. He and his wife recently had a daughter, who is currently 9 months old.

The former Braves head coach is pleased with the hiring of Higgs.

“I think coach Higgs will do a good job,” Tormoehlen said. “I know he’s got a lot of experience when it comes to coaching high school-aged kids.”

Higgs grew up in Brookville and graduated from Franklin County High School. He then graduated from Indiana University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology.

It was after college where his coaching career began. He was the junior varsity baseball coach at Bloomington South from 2009 to 2013. It was there where Higgs said he learned how to run a high school baseball program.

Higgs has also been coaching travel baseball for the Demand Command program since 2010. In his 10 seasons coached there, DC has had a winning season each year. Higgs has also had 42 players who have played for him at DC go on to play collegiate baseball.

He was the head varsity baseball coach at Paoli from 2014 to 2015. Higgs joined the Stars’ staff in the spring of 2015 as an assistant varsity baseball coach.

“Baseball coaching has been my life since 2008, so a lot of experiences, both good and bad, have helped me become the coach I am today,” he said. “Looking forward to carry those into Brownstown.”

Higgs knows he will have a talented senior class at Brownstown in the spring of 2022, and he also knows there’s a good mix of young players that will have the ability to help the team.

As far as his coaching style, Higgs keeps it simple: Play hard.

“I know what (Tormoehlen) stands for. He taught very high-level baseball, so I want to build off that,” Higgs said. “At the end of the day, mental toughness and physical toughness can take you a long way. There’s only one way to play that game, and that’s as hard as you can day in and day out.”

Higgs is starting to connect with some players this week, but with moratorium week right around the corner, he is planning to get the team together for the second week of July to meet everyone in person and take them through some workouts.

“I can get to know them, they can get to know me and start building those relationships,” he said.

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