Garrard County is looking for yet another boys basketball coach after Brandon Cooper resigned Friday.
Cooper, a Garrard native who said it was his dream job to coach his alma mater, left to take a job as an assistant at Pulaski County.
“They offered him a position, and he told me they also offered his wife a position,” Garrard athletics director Kalem Grasham said Tuesday. “He referred to Garrard being his dream job, but he’s always preached family first. And with Pulaski offering his wife a job as well, he felt he had to do what he always preached.”
Grasham said he knew for a week that Cooper may be leaving, so he was prepared for yet another coaching search. But it was not a search Grasham really expected to be conducting.
“When we hired Brandon, we really thought that we would have some stability and continuity in the program,” Grasham said. “To be honest, that was one of the biggest things that attracted us to Brandon. We wanted someone who could come home and step up and be able to build the program and give it some stability and continuity. But sometimes the best plans don’t always work out.”
Garrard went 12-18 in its only season under Cooper, but the Golden Lions return all but two players off last year’s squad.
“I met with the team Friday and told them this is not the job it was two years ago, and this isn’t the job it was last year,” Grasham said. “The kids have gotten older and I think we’ve got some real talented kids, no doubt about it, with the returning players.
“I think we’ve got as a good of an incoming freshman class as we’ve had in quite some time. I think it’s a lot better job than what it’s been.”
The new coach will be the Lions’ sixth in the past eight seasons.
Scott Bolin, the current Garrard girls coach, was the boys coach for three seasons. Lee DeForest then coached the team for two years. Dave McDaniel then took over, but switched roles early in the season with assistant coach Kevin Wheeler, who became the interim coach. Brad Sizemore lasted a season before Cooper was hired last July.
Grasham said once word hit that the job was open, he had a number of people inquire about the position.
“I spent quite a bit of time this weekend talking with people and fielding phone calls, and I was floored with the interest when this thing came open,” Grasham said.
The dead period for the summer ends July 9, and Grasham said he will be meeting with several candidates between now and then.
Though he didn’t want to go through another coaching search, Grasham said he was encouraged that he had everyone from coaches with varsity head coaching experience down to assistants interested in talking about the job.
“It’s just important to get the right person in place to stabilize the program,” he said. “I always have a list in mind if something like this happens.”