Taylor athletic director Rusty Purser confirmed Wednesday that head baseball coach Jeremy Mueller has stepped down to accept the same position at Class 6A Midland.

Mueller compiled a 106-45 record in five seasons with the Ducks, guiding them to the playoffs each year.

It will be Mueller's second stint at Midland, where he served as an assistant under Barry Russell from 2002-06. Russell announced his retirement in May after 22 seasons with the Bulldogs.

"It's disappointing to lose him, but I kind of knew," Purser said. "Jeremy and I are good friends outside of work. When Russell retired back in May, I knew that job was going to be on his radar."

Fresh off his fourth consecutive bi-district title with the Ducks, Mueller was not actively looking to leave Taylor this summer. But when the Midland opportunity presented itself, he found it hard to pass up.

"If that job wouldn't have opened up, I'd still be sitting right here in Taylor," Mueller said. "I will definitely miss my time here. It wasn't an easy decision to leave, even once the Midland job was offered."

Mueller believes Taylor is in good hands, though, with former assistant Justin Adams, who has been hired as his replacement. Adams served on Mueller's staff from 2015-17, and also spent three years as a head coach at Hemphill from 2014-16.

"Justin did a great job when he was with us those couple of years," Mueller said. "He really understands the game of baseball and gets along well with the kids."

The Ducks graduate all-district seniors Miguel Torres, Joel Cruz, Gabe Jewett and Easton Canales, but Adams is confident he can pick up where Mueller left off and continue the winning tradition at Taylor.

"Those are some big losses, but I think we're going to recover from them and stay competitive," he said. "I know most of the kids coming back and I feel like I can get a lot out of them.

"I'm looking forward to putting in a different style of play, and I think the kids are going to enjoy it."

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