Barnett steps down as volunteer basketball coach sports therogersvillereview.com data recovery iphone 5

Barnett started at volunteer as an assistant in 2007-08 under coach todd whittemore, then served as an assistant for chris brown from the 2010-11 season until the 2013-14 season.

Barnett was promoted to head coach the following season when brown left for the daniel boone position. Barnett’s team finished 11-18 in his first season and fell to 6-24 the following year. The falcons went 9-21 in 2016-17 and 7-21 this past season, the final game an unforgettable, 73-72, triple-overtime loss to cherokee in the opening round of the district 1-AAA basketball tournament feb. 12.

“it was a long season and it was good for a change for him and us,” whalen said.Came back “he’s a really good guy though, a good friend. We’ll just see what happens with him and us.”


Volunteer has long been an underdog in the rugged big 7. Making things even more difficult, the falcons lost three significant performers the past two years to transfer. Christian churchwell moved to clinch where he averaged 21 points per game last year. All-conference forward jarod lawson transferred to daniel boone and jake salyer transferred to cherokee.

“we had a couple that moved away and a couple that came back in,” whalen said. “the (caleb) rogers kid left before he got to be a freshman and came back his junior year. That’s always hard when you’re counting on kids from the middle school and they’re not there anymore.”

barnett said

“you’re always going to have players who are going to step up and fill roles and that’s kind of the nature of the game anymore,” barnett said. “your players come in and they do good things for you and for whatever reason they decide to go to a different direction and you’ve got good players that come in behind them and step up and play.

“I don’t think it was as difficult as you would think it would be. You can’t replace some players, but at the same time you’ve got to go with who’s there and go with it,” he said.

Booster interference in college has a high school equivalent: parental pressure. Many parents feel their child is the next peyton manning or lebron james, so they lobby for playing time.Said “you in some cases, lobbying unfortunately escalates to a whisper campaign to out of control, undermining chatter.

“I’m a parent, too,” whalen said. “you put the parent glasses on and you think your kids are good. You’ve just got to take a step back and kind of look at them and be very objective about what’s going on right there.

“at the end of the day, you’ve just got to play the best kids that you can. Whoever the best kids are, you try to play those kids. As administration, we try to support the coach, too, and we hope the community will support him, also,” whalen said.

“the biggest thing I think is, night in, night out, having to play in the conference that we play in.Whalen said you’ve got to play teams like D-B, science hill, tennessee high, crockett, boone,” he said.

“you know those teams historically are going to be good year in, year out. It’s just hard to really go at those teams and consistently win games. That to me was more of a challenge than anything else,” barnett said.

“that’s a tough conference we’re in,” whalen said. “you look at it, dobyns-bennett and science hill. Science hill has always been the cream of the crop. Dobyns-bennett went down and came back up with the new change. Then crockett. It’s tough to try to compete in this conference.”

Despite the ever-presence of those two powerhouses, there were still some memorable moments during barnett’s tenure, particularly the falcons’ thrilling, 88-86, double-overtime win over D-B on jan. 21 of last year.Whalen said

“that’s one that will always stick out,” barnett said. “anytime you can beat them, that’s one that’s always going to be a plus because historically they’re just a really good program.

“we’re just looking for somebody that is excited about being there, has some discipline, can communicate with the kids and the parents, and is excited about being at volunteer,” whalen said.

“we’ll see what happens. We’ll see who applies. We’ve got it on the state website now. It’s been posted for a couple days. We’ve had some interest in it already. There’s more to come. I had an application today from someone who graduated from vanderbilt,” whalen said.

“we’ve had in just a week a lot of applicants.Whalen said there’s not necessarily a type that we’re looking for, just somebody that’s got some experience and is excited about working with the kids. More than likely it’s going to be from the outside. We’re interested in a new change and trying to do something a little different right now.

“we play in a tough conference and there are some teams that have done some stuff different and successfully. Dobyns-bennett went from being a sixth-place team to tied for first in one year with a coaching change. We’re hoping maybe something like that will happen with us. We’ve got a lot of young kids coming up that have some talent,” said whalen.

“there will be some holdovers, probably.Said “you we’ll see what happens. We had five seniors on the team this year and we’ve got a lot of young kids still in the program.

“church hill (middle school) had a good year this year and there are a lot of eighth graders coming up and we had some ninth graders with some pretty good talent coming up. So we’ll see what happens with them,” whalen said.

“we’d like to hire someone some time in april. We’ve got it posted right now. Hopefully, sometime in april we’ll do some interviews and have somebody in place,” he said.

“of course, you’ve also got to look at what teaching spots we have open, too. It’s one of those cases where you get in there and you might find the best person that you want and it doesn’t line up with your teaching spots,” whalen said.Whalen said

A newcomer could teach at any school in the hawkins county system and still coach at volunteer. Ideally, the new hire would coach and teach at volunteer.

“we’d love for that, though, because it’s always good to have them in the building. It removes any hurdles that you have. We’re 99 percent sure we’d like to go with somebody in the building, a faculty person there so they see the kids all the time,” whalen said.

“greg is still a friend of mine. He’s still teaching at volunteer. It’s just a different route, basketball-wise. I don’t anticipate greg going somewhere but he’s still a young guy and may want to coach somewhere else. He’s a good guy, a great character guy and still a friend of all of us at volunteer,” he said.Whalen said

“I would like to,” he said. “right now, I’m keeping my options open. It’s that time of year where things start opening up, so you just never know.”

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