It is not easy to replace success.
However, that is exactly what Newton High School had to do when former basketball head coach Crandal Porter accepted the women's head basketball coaching position at East Central Community College in Decatur.
Former New Hope High School basketball coach Robert Byrd will look to continue Porter's success, as Newton announced he will replace Porter as head coach of both the boys and girls teams. Byrd, who received the news Saturday night, said he has much to do to get ready for the upcoming season.
"Everything has just been a whirlwind," Byrd said. "I haven't really had a time to think and get a game plan; I'm just winging it as I go.”
Byrd said he met with the teams on Monday, and he looks forward to developing relationships with the players as soon as possible. Right now, the head coach said he is working with Porter in order to get a better understanding of the team.
Byrd's resume speaks for itself. The head coach won more than 250 games while at New Hope and led the Trojans to a 4A state title during the 2007-08 season. Previously, Byrd reached the finals during 06-07 season and took the Trojans to the final four in 05-06.
"There is no doubt," Porter said. "I'm sure he will do a great job. As a coach, I think you should expect a lot of the same things you got out of me.
"He's going to care about the kids first of all. You know why he is one of the best out there, because he's going to work hard."
Still, with all his previous success, Byrd knows he will have big shoes to fill at Newton. However, he said he is not bothered by the high expectations.
"I put pressure on myself more than anybody will," Byrd said. "Any coach wants to come to a school where there are expectations; they walk taller around here when it comes to basketball. It's not pressure for me, because this is the kind of situation I want to be in."
Byrd experienced the lofty expectations first hand when speaking with Porter about coaching at Newton.
"One of the questions coach Byrd asked me was if he was going to be able to win a championship every other year or every third year," Porter said. "I told him no. I told him, he will compete every year. The boys team's got a lot of guys coming back and they should contend. The girls team is really young, but they should also contend."
The job at Newton will be Byrd's first return to coaching since resigning from New Hope in 2009, where the coach took time away from basketball in order to receive his master's degree in educational leadership.
"I have five kids, and I knew if I was going to get my masters, it I had to do it then," Byrd said. "It was one of those situations where it was now or never.
"There were a lot of times where I was wondering what in the world was I doing. Being a coach is just kind of a calling for me, so I always knew I'd be back someday."
Byrd said he expects to continue Newton's success — the Tigers won the Class 2A boys state title in 2008, while the girls won state championships in 2005 and 2010 — in the future and is proud to be a part of the team's basketball tradition.
"I look forward to developing a relationship with the players where we fight for each other," Byrd said. "This is an elite program, it's not just any program. I am very excited about that."
It is not easy to replace success.
- (PHOTOS) Enterprise in the Class 2A State Championship Slideshow of Enterprise in the Class 2A State Championship fast pitch series.
- (PHOTOS) Newton County wins Class 4A Slideshow of Newton County in the Class 4A State Championship fast pitch series.
- (PHOTOS) Neshoba wins Class 5A Slideshow of Neshoba Central in the Class 5A State Championship fast pitch series.
Newton County beats Houston 10-0 to claim 7th fast-pitch championshi
Players from Newton County’s dugout barely made it to the foul line before a celebratory dogpile ensued here Saturday. Indeed, winning never gets old.
The Lady Cougars blanked Houston 10-0 Saturday at Freedom Ridge Park, completing an easy sweep of their best-of-three, Class 4A State Championship Series and gaining a measure of revenge after falling short a year ago.
Rockets roar by East Central, claim 5A crown
Trae Embry took somewhat of a gamble when he accepted the softball
coaching job at Neshoba Central -- leaving his hometown and his comfort zone for a
- Newton County wins state
Enterprise falls twice to East Webster
It just wasn't to be.
After 16 innings of big plays and tense moments, the Enterprise Lady Bulldogs fell just short of their third MHSAA Class 2A State Fast-Pitch Softball Championship on Saturday, dropping a 3-1 decision in the decisive game three. But EHS head coach Davey Dewitt said he was pleased with the way his team played, battling East Webster to the last out.
Richmond leaves Clarkdale for Neshoba Central
Former Clarkdale High School head football coach Chris Richmond is leaving the team to serve as a position coach at Neshoba Central next season. Richmond, who went 1-21 in his two seasons as the Bulldogs head coach said the move to Neshoba will help him stay closer to his family
Neshoba Central shuts out East Central 8-0
Neshoba Central’s last two rounds of the state softball playoffs involved grueling series wins over Lake Cormorant and New Hope. And while no one knows what today holds in the Class 5A State Championship Series, the Lady Rockets zipped through East Central like a hot knife through butter in Ridgeland Friday night.
Enterprise tops East Webster 6-3
Just one more win.
That's how far away the Enterprise Lady Bulldogs are from closing out an amazing season. After beginning the year 4-8, EHS has won 15 of their last 19 games, including Friday afternoon's 6-3 win over East Webster in the MHSAA Class 2A Fast-Pitch Softball Championships.
- More Sports Headlines