WEST MEMPHIS, AR (MSCC) - Andy Stoglin, who led the Mid-South Community College Greyhounds to a successful first season, has resigned to accept another coaching position that will help him meet pressing family and financial obligations.
Chris Parker, who coached the Lady Greyhounds last year, will take over as head men's coach, and West Memphis native Kim Turner has been promoted to lead the women's team. West Memphian Russell Jones will continue to serve as an assistant coach for the men's team.
Coach Stoglin said leaving the Greyhound program was extremely difficult but added that the coaching talent already assembled on the MSCC campus made it easier.
"I have known Chris Parker for a long time, and I have no doubt that he can lead this team to success on the basketball court and in the classroom," Stoglin said. "He knows basketball, and he knows how to teach and motivate players. He is a great student of the game, and he will do an outstanding job as the Greyhounds coach."
"I've only known Kim Turner for a year, but I can see that she has the fire and competitive spirit that will make her a great basketball coach. I have watched her work with the players, and I'm impressed with the way she teaches and shows them what to do. She's a very hands-on coach, and players respond well to her. She'll do a great job."
But while the coaching situation helped him feel better about his move, Stoglin said he still found it difficult to leave.
"It was hard for me to tell Dr. (Glen) Fenter (MSCC President) because I really enjoyed working at the college," he said. "This is something I could have done for four or five years more; I enjoyed every part of it."
"But I have promised Dr. Fenter that I'm always going to be a part of the basketball program at MSCC as long as he is here because of what he's trying to do to help these young people. I'll be back at some point, and I'm even willing to volunteer my services."
Parker, who worked under Stoglin at Jackson State University 1993 to 1995 and also coached at Arkansas Tech University, Houston Baptist University, Texas Southern University, and Lubbock Christian University, became the instant choice to succeed his former supervisor and mentor. His coaching experience at two HBCU (Historically Black College and Universities) institutions worked in his favor.
"We thought Chris would be a great option in a situation like this," said Jason Carmichael, MSCC Athletic Director. "It's always nice to have some flexibility and to have someone on staff who has coached men's basketball previously and at a high level."
"I feel very fortunate to be in this position," Parker said. "It was a very natural decision for me. I've coached men for over 20 years, and I coached women for a year. I really enjoyed working with the Lady Greyhound program, but most of my experience has been with men's teams. When Jason approached me about the men's job, I thought that my experience and training under Coach Stoglin would make for a smooth transition."
"You won't see a lot of difference between our coaching styles because he's my basketball father, and we're all in the same coaching family under Coach (Nolan) Richardson. Working with Coach Stoglin at Jackson State and Coach (Ron) Cottrell at Houston Baptist really shaped and formed my coaching philosophy. I learned so much from them."
For the Lady Greyhounds, Turner steps into the head coaching role after a year as an assistant. A standout performer for the West Memphis High School Lady Blue Devils, she played major college and professional basketball and is excited about the expanded role in sharing her knowledge and experience with the players.
"I am ecstatic," she said. "I feel like I'm a great person for the job. I have the same expectations and goals as the college as far as creating better student-athletes in the academic world and winning a few games along the way. This is where I wanted to be; I just didn't know it would happen so fast."
As a fairly young head coach, Turner understands that she doesn't have all of the answers.
"I'm not coming in thinking I know everything," she explained. "I'm willing to learn, and I think that will take me far. I learned a lot from Coach Parker last year, and I'm still learning. I still talk to my high school, college, and AAU coaches, so I have a great coaching support system in place."
Last year's Lady Greyhounds' team struggled with injuries and lack of depth and managed only a single victory. Turner said their record, however, was deceiving.
"The girls still made progress throughout the season even though they lost," she explained. "We told them at the end of the year that it was a job well done even though they didn't accomplish a winning record."