Photo by Elmer Smith
Grainger Today Correspondent
RUTLEDGE– Adam Wolfenbarger has been selected as the new head coach for the Grizzly boys basketball team.
Wolfenbarger’s promotion from assistant coach to head coach was announced Tuesday afternoon by Grainger High School administrators.
“When Coach D (Derrick Combs) resigned his position, there was only one choice for the job and that was Adam Wolfenbarger,” said GHS Principal Mark Briscoe. “He has the support of Edward Jarnagin, Brett Coffey and Mark Briscoe. I think the administration, the school and the students will line up behind Adam. He is the perfect choice for the job. We had a little delay in the process, however, that was out of our control. As an administrator, and as the parent of a kid that will be on the team, I’m excited that Adam will be taking over. Adam is a wonderful special education teacher, and I feel he is one of the best employees in my building. I’m excited about the future of Grainger basketball.”
Wofenbarger and his wife, Emily, have two sons, Tyson and Beckett.
He has been a head coach for both basketball and baseball. He started coaching as a senior in high school when he coached the Washburn Middle School team in the 2004-05 season and then worked for two years as an assistant basketball coach and junior varsity coach at Washburn.
He then became an assistant baseball coach with Union County, where the team set a new school record for wins. For the next three years, he returned to Washburn and served as a co-head coach for three years in which the Pirates won district titles.
Wolfenbarger, who was working in special education at Grainger, was head coach for the Washburn boys basketball coach for one year, but found that working at one school and coaching at another was too much to handle.
For the past five years, Wolfenbarger has been working as an assistant coach and junior varsity coach for the Grizzlies, and as an assistant with Justin Combs for the Lady Grizzlies, during years where both teams have had outstanding performances.
“Coach (Doug) McBee will stay on,” said Wolfenbarger concerning rounding out his staff. “I’m hoping that Coach Thacker will coach the freshmen again this year. We will be looking to add someone else in the near future. I have an idea of the direction I want to go. We will get that figured out in the next couple of weeks.”
In discussing his plans for the Grizzlies, Wolfenbarger explained that the style of play in high school basketball is predicated not on what he would like to do, but on what the team is able to do.
“The team we have this year is built to run, and we’ll try to run, but to do that successfully, we will have to have the defense and the rebounding to have the opportunity. Over time that might change, but I like an up-and-down game,” he said.
“I want my team to play harder than the other team,” said Wolfenbarger. “I will hold the players accountable and demand they have toughness about them. We want to outplay the other team and for each player to outplay the man in front of him all night.”
“I’m thrilled to death to be the coach here,” he added. “I’m very humble. It’s been an emotional day for me. It’s something I’ve worked hard for. However, it’s not about me. Its about these guys. I trust and love them, and think I have their trust back. I feel like it’s a good fit. We’ve been together for a while . I’m a Grainger County boy, and I love Grainger High School. I’m a Grizzly for life.”