Making the Wright turn: Former MC coach takes over Lady Govs Hoops
By Marcus Fitzsimmons | (email@example.com)
A year away from the side court was all Todd Wright could take and the former Maryville College coach put an end to his time away Wednesday being introduced as the new girls basketball coach at William Blount.
“There are two things I’m passionate about — my kids and coaching basketball,” Wright said after being introduced by WB athletic director Brewer to players and parents assembled in the school lunch room. “I took a year off after a year at Lenoir City and I’ve missed it. I’m tired of moving around and look forward to staying here for a long time.”
Wright was the head women’s coach at MC for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons leading MC to a back-to-back Great South titles and consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament. The former Roane State and Oliver Springs coach told The Daily Times then that the road trips and travel were key to his decision to return to the prep ranks and reiterated that to the crowd Wednesday before ending a brief introduction to spend the bulk of the time talking with the players and parents.
Wright takes over for coach Matt Fowler, who resigned his coaching duties after a third consecutive trip to the regional semifinals in March.
“Every time one chapter closes, it means another one is about to begin,” Brewer said in introducing Wright. “Coach Wright understands the amount of hard work, time and enthusiasm it takes to develop a successful program. ... he is committed and determined to produce a competitive basketball program. His objective is to be a positive role model and influential leader in the lives of student athletes who emphasizes a strong commitment to excellence in life, in the classroom and on the court.”
Having held camps at MC and Roane State and facing some of the players from across the courts of District 4-AAA competition during his stint at Lenoir City, Wright spent some time putting names to player faces he recognizing and talking basketball and get to know you talk with the girls in attendance.
“I’ve known coach Fowler for a long time and I know there is a firm foundation here to build on,” the math teacher said. “I’m ready get started, to build on that and to win some championships.”
Wright’s all-time record stands at 262-112, including a 97-51 mark on the college level, and his run at Oliver Springs brought the school its first No. 1 ranking the state AP poll and four consecutive district titles.
Besides his parents, son Baylor and daughter Briley were also with Wright.
“They’re not shy. And they’ll probably be in the gym just as much as I am.” the newest William Blount coach said as the pair grinned back from their seats with Briley sporting a shirt in WB blue.
Wright also assured those gathered together facing the gym doors that his approach to basketball hasn’t changed one bit since his tenure at Maryville College.
“If you like to play defense, get up and down the court and shoot the 3 you’re going to like this,” Wright said. “If you don’t, come talk to me, we’ll find a role for you.”