Thursday, June 10, 2010
Bryant named Byhalia coach
By BARRY BURLESON
Donald Bryant has seen state playoff success coaching girls basketball. He’s looking forward to additional postseason trips as the new boys head coach at Byhalia High School.
Bryant, a native of Ackerman and graduate of Millsaps, was recently hired to guide the Indians’ hardwood hopes.
“I wanted to get back into boys coaching, and this is a good place to be,” Bryant said. “Byhalia has plenty of history as far as having a lot of talent and being successful.”
Bryant, 32, was once a boys assistant coach at Laurel and then he switched to the girls in his first head coaching position at West Oktibbeha. He later led the West Lowndes Lady Panthers to a Class 1A state championship in 2004. He also most recently coached girls at Amory and William Sullivan. His teams have been regular playoff participants.
“Byhalia is a lot like my home school – Ackerman,” he said. “I love this area. I’m sold on Byhalia, and I hope to settle down and be here a while.”
Last year the Indians stepped up to the Class 4A ranks, and Bryant said he’s ready for the challenge.
“I think 4A will be wide open as far as getting to Jackson,” he said. “I’ve watched some game tapes (of Byhalia) and from what I’ve seen, I believe we can bond and jell and work hard to get to the next level.
“Next year we have a senior-laden team, and I want to get it done right away. It should be a good year.”
Bryant takes over the basketball coaching duties from head football coach Markeith Washington, who took the job last year on an interim basis.
He said the goals are simple – doing well in district play, then moving on to north half and state.
“I’ve met some of the players (at Byhalia),” Bryant said. “I’m excited. I believe they can get used to my style of coaching quickly, and we can have some success.”
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