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Panter submits resignation
Shea Panter.jpg
Shea Panter resigned Friday, ending a five-year tenure as coach of the WCHS girls basketball team. Panter was 63-96, including 9-19 last season.

As one search ends, another search is about to begin.

The girls basketball coaching position was listed on Warren County School System’s website early Friday, ending Shea Panter’s five-year run as the leader of the Lady Pioneer basketball program. Panter was 63-96 at Warren County.

School officials accepted Panter’s resignation Friday after she addressed her team the day before. 

Her resignation came after a disappointing 9-19 campaign, where the team returned six seniors but failed to record a district win for the first time since 2009. The Lady Pioneers lost their final eight games last season.

Warren County High School principal Jimmy Walker accepted Panter’s resignation, deeming it a mutual decision.

“We have talked a couple times since the end of the season. There’s a lot of pressure and stress with the job. It can be brutal,” said Walker. “We talked about it Friday and mutually agreed it may be time.”

Panter understood that the time seemed to be right to step away.

"Today, I officially resigned from head basketball coach of the Lady Pioneers," Panter said in an email Friday. "This decision, although difficult, is what's best for me as I move to the next stage in my life.

"I would like to say thanks to the supportive fans and community members that were positive and saw the hard work the teams have put forth the last five years. Also, thank you to my family for supporting me as I tackled this job head on. Good luck to the girls and I wish the program nothing but the best."

Panter was hired before the 2014-15 season, taking over after Erick Baird was fired following his fifth year with the program. Panter took the Lady Pioneers to the region tournament twice, losing to Bradley Central in 2015 and 2018.

Panter had success pushing her players to the next level. Warren County had several players sign scholarships, including last fall when Tyra Wright committed to play for Charleston Southern. It was the first time a Lady Pioneer had signed in the fall signing period, as well as the first female basketball player to commit to a Division 1 school in more than a decade.

Walker has a long history with Panter. He was there when she first arrived on the local coaching scene at Warren County Middle School.

“I called Shea when she was in Alabama and wanted to bring her to the middle school,” said Walker. “She loves basketball. She’ll pick up something and will be a valuable part of it.”

Megan Patch played under Panter at WCMS and just completed four years under her longtime coach at the high school. She didn’t seem shocked by Panter’s departure.

“I have played for her since sixth grade, but the only thing I would like to say about it is that all things must come to an end,” said Patch.

 Walker said Panter still plans to serve as the assistant coach of the girls soccer team, a role she has filled for the last few years.

The search for a new coach has already begun. Walker hopes the job draws interest over spring break.

“It has been posted,” said Walker. “We’ll give it the week of spring break and see which candidates apply.”