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WCMS names new basketball coaches
Montgomery makes move to Lady Pioneers
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The two new basketball coaches at Warren County Middle School will be a pair of familiar faces.
Former WCHS boys basketball coach Malcolm Montgomery will serve as the new Lady Pioneer coach while Isaiah Phillips, a five-year assistant coach for the WCHS boys basketball team, has accepted the position as new Pioneer coach. Montgomery and Phillips replace Shea Panter and Adam Wood, who each will be coaching basketball at WCHS next year.
Warren County Middle School principal Gerald Tidwell was happy to announce Montgomery and Phillips as the school’s new coaches. Tidwell feels both will be a great fit with the younger Pioneers and Lady Pioneers.
“I fell very fortunate to have both Malcolm and Isaiah as our coaches,” said Tidwell. “Malcolm contacted me about the job and we feel like we got a steal with him coming on. Knowing the success of coach Phillips’ AAU programs, I feel like he’ll do a great job too.”
Montgomery is well known in Warren County after coaching the WCHS boys team for four seasons. He last coached the Pioneers during the 2012-13 season before offering his resignation. In his four years with the Pioneers, Montgomery led the program to the regional tournament three times and increased the team’s win total in each of his first three seasons.
Montgomery believes his new position brings his coaching career full circle.
“This gives me the full spectrum, from coaching college, high school boys and now girls,” said Montgomery. “Coaching is what I do. This is another challenge I’m looking forward to. This is a good situation and I’m really excited about it.”
Montgomery started coaching girls when he took over his daughter’s AAU team last summer. This year, Montgomery led the Tennessee Pride to a state title in girls basketball and took the team to a national tournament held in North Carolina.
When Panter accepted the head coaching job at WCHS, the opportunity arose for Montgomery to continue to coach girls and he jumped on it.
“I stumbled into coaching girls when I started working with my daughter’s AAU team. I worked with the team and individuals as well. I got to see the girls grow and improve,” said Montgomery. “I liked coaching them and when Shea took the high-school position, this opened up for me.”
Wood’s departure to join Chris Sullens’ staff also created an opening on the boys side at Warren County Middle School. Phillips, who came to Warren County as an assistant under Montgomery five years ago, was more than happy to take the job.
“I’m thrilled about coaching the team,” said Phillips.
Phillips coached under Montgomery for four years, acting as the varsity team’s lead assistant while also coaching the freshman team. Last year, John Dillard retained Phillips as an assistant coach of the Pioneers. Phillips is also highly involved in AAU programs and will stay on as a teacher at Morrison Elementary School.
Both coaches will serve as the varsity and junior varsity coaches for seventh- and eighth-graders.
The sixth-grade basketball teams will continue to be coached by Kelly Eckenrod and Jacob Cocke.