PIPPA PASSES – Wes Smith was introduced as the new boys’ basketball head coach of the June Buchanan School (JBS) on Monday. He replaces Elisha Justice, who left JBS to be the new head coach of the Pikeville High School boys’ basketball program. Smith inherits a program that advanced to the 14th Region Boys’ Basketball Tournament Semifinals and won 20 games in its latest season.
Smith is no stranger to Caney Creek. The Clay County native is a graduate of Alice Lloyd College where he was a member of the Eagles basketball team. He served one season as a student assistant before being chosen as the head assistant coach of the Alice Lloyd College men’s basketball program.
During his four year tenure assisting ALC, the Eagles finished runner-up in the KIAC Tournament and earned a bid to the NCCAA National Tournament this year in Lake Winona, Indiana.
Smith felt the opportunity to take over as the mentor of the Crusaders was the right calling for him.
“I feel so blessed to be selected for this position,” Smith said. “Basketball is a passion of mine and I love seeing young men improve both on and off the court. Having a chance to become the coach at JBS and obtain the opportunity to have a positive impact on student’s lives was just too good of an offer for me to pass up.”
Gary D. Stepp, the Athletic Director at June Buchanan, spoke highly of the new coach.
“I have known and observed Wes for some time and have been extremely impressed by his passion and love of the game,” Stepp said. “Additionally, he is a high-character young man who possesses an incredible work ethic. He will set high standards for our student-athletes and develop them toward achieving these standards. More than that, however, he is a quality individual who will serve as an excellent role-model, not just our young men, but for all of our students. We feel fortunate to have him as a member of our staff.”
“My ultimate goal for the June Buchanan Crusaders is to have a team that can compete for regional championships and succeed on the state level,” Smith said. “JBS has been known as a solid program in the past and I fully intend to continue that path.”