Thursday, June 17, 2010
Byers selects coach
By BARRY BURLESON
It was one of those job offers Trey Lawrence could not pass up – an opportunity to lead a tradition-rich basketball program and a chance to move closer to home.
He is the new boys coach at H.W. Byers.
“I’m really excited and looking forward to it – being involved with a program that has had success,” he said. “It’s all positive.
“The biggest thing – basketball at H.W. Byers is important to everybody. If it’s important, the kids are willing to work and put the time into it.”
For the past two years, Lawrence was the head boys coach at Indianola Academy. Prior to that he coached at Riverside (near Greenville) and Washington School (in Greenville).
He is originally from Florence, Ala., and played college basketball at the University of North Alabama, graduating from UNA in 1997. His wife Ashley also grew up in Florence.
“My folks live in Memphis and my wife’s folks live in Florence,” he said. “We will be two and a half hours closer to everybody.”
He said he has known Chris Ferrell, assistant principal at H.W. Byers, for several years.
“It’s a good opportunity for me to work with some quality people there,” Lawrence said.
“I like to coach, I like to be around kids, and I love to compete.”
He said he is very familiar with the success of the Lions on the basketball court. The Lions made five consecutive trips to the state tournament from 2001-2005 under then coach Gerone Kirkland.
“It’s a tradition-rich school,” Lawrence said. “I just want to add to that tradition.”
Last season Byers girls coach Jason Thompson, who led the Lady Lions to back-to-back state championships in 2008 and 2009, performed double duty and coached the boys.
“I grew up in an area where basketball is important, and I see that at H.W. Byers,” Lawrence said. “Basketball is in my blood. I’ve always been around it. I remember playing at halftime of high school games when I was in the first grade, and my uncle coached for 30 years.”
The Lawrences have two children – a son, Jack, 6; and a daughter born just a few weeks ago, Lillie Bee.
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