Winston-Salem Prep hires new girls hoops coach

In his first year at Winston-Salem Prep, interim head coach Kent Phillips will lead the Lady Phoenix varsity basketball team.

Winston-Salem Prep hires new girls hoops coach
November 23
05:30 2016

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



Going into the season as the two-time North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) 1-A state champion, the Lady Phoenix of Winston-Salem Prep will face everyone’s best effort.  For Prep they come into this season with a myriad of unknowns, such as integrating almost an entire new roster along with a new head varsity coach.

The Phoenix won those two state championships under former coach Eugene Love, who left Prep to take another coaching position in Ohio.  They will now be led by interim head coach Kent Phillips.

Prep initially tabbed Bill Tibbs as Love’s replacement in July, but he resigned shortly before the girls were to hit the practice floor, citing personal reasons.

With only two days before practice was to begin, Winston-Salem Prep athletic director Zach Hargett had to make a quick but appropriate decision.  He said that even though Phillips was not the school’s first choice, it doesn’t reflect on the caliber of coach he is.

“Sometimes you have to do your research, and when I did it was obvious he has a lot of experience coaching basketball and he has the patience, attitude and the ability to make sure things are going in the right direction,” Hargett said of Phillips.  “He was one of the guys that came to me and said if you need anything, just let me know.  This is his first year here and I’m very happy and excited I have an experienced coach to work with these young ladies.”

With Phillips stepping in so late in the preseason, he had little time to work with his athletes.  Prep is in rebuilding mode this season, returning only one player, senior Ashya Smith, from last year’s championship team. Phillips will have a tough task of replacing the seven seniors Prep lost to graduation.

Hargett said he approached Phillips with the proposition of taking the job and Phillips told him he would take a day to think it over.  After contemplating the decision, Phillips decided to take the position.  Phillips says he knows it will take some time to get things in order but looks forward to the challenge at hand.

“I’m always exited to coach but with two days before the first day of practice and not having any relationship with any of the players, I was a little hesitant in that regard,” Phillips said.  “I’m excited for me and the girls. They have a lot to learn but that’s the fun part of the process.”

“We have four girls who have never played any organized basketball.  We just want to get in shape and get better because of the coaching situation, they were not able to get in a single fall workout before the season, so they are behind the eight ball.”

“We are going to try and get into shape and implement some things leading into the Christmas break.  I want to be a whole different team after Christmas break, and right there is when I’m going to set goals as far as winning and losing.”

For Phillips he says a successful season for him would be for the girls on the team to learn to love the game, get better every day and to develop a good work ethic.  He says there are a couple of girls with all conference talent and a few that have the potential to be really good players so he is excited for what the future holds for his team going forward.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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