With keys in tow, White, 42, headed down to the gym and unlocked the door to the equipment room and picked up a ball.
He was home, in his element, at last.
“I do have a system,” said White, who played his prep ball at Carver-Columbus and his college ball at Bethune-Cookman for a season, ABAC for another season and NAIA Talladega his final two seasons. “My preference would be to play at a fast pace and put pressure on the opponent on both ends of the floor. However, in the past I have been able to adjust to players and their skills and talents, so if we have to slow it down and play a half court game and execute I think my teams have been fairly good at that too.”
White, a veteran of 10 coaching seasons, including three in middle school at the beginning of his career, comes to Spalding most immediately from Shaw High School in Columbus where he coached the boys varsity team the past seven seasons to records of 14-11, 23-7, 19-10, 17-11, 23-5, 15-13 and most recently 19-10. The Raiders made the Class AAA state playoff field the past six seasons, going a round deep the past three years and two rounds deep the three years before that.
“We missed it by three points my first season,” White is quick to point out.
Along the way, the Raiders also won the 2006 Region 2-AAA championship.
Jeffcoat couldn’t be happier with his school’s newest hire, who will serve as a counselor during the day at nearby Rehobeth Road Middle School.
“We’ve got a very strong, very experienced, very playoff-seasoned head basketball coach who wants to be a part of something special that’s fixing to take place at Spalding High,” said Jeffcoat.
At Spalding, White replaces Cecil Spear who left during the offseason to take a job where he started his coaching career at Lamar County High School 35 years earlier. During five seasons at Spalding High, Spear coached the Jaguars to records of 8-11, 14-7, 13-11, 21-6, 18-10 and most recently 15-11. Twice during that span, including for the first time in school history, the team made the state playoffs in addition to reaching the Region 4-AAA championship game once.
“I have heard a lot of good things about coach Spear,” said White. “I’m hearing they have good, coachable kids here that have a good work ethic.”
White plans to meet with the returning players in the next several days before meeting with the new players thereafter.
“My program at Shaw, we were like a family,” said White. “That’s the thing I want to instill here. If we have the work ethic I think we’re going to be fine.”
He also said, “We have to have the fundamentals — good work ethic, discipline, enthusiasm for what we’re doing and we’ve got to have intensity. That’s the thing I want to bring to the table. We’re not out here to just play, we’re out here to be competitive in everything we do.”
School starts Aug. 8, while open house is Aug. 4 and teams can start practicing on Oct. 24. The Jags will play in Region 4-AAA for the second year in a row with Eagle’s Landing, Eastside-Covington, Jackson, Henry County, Sandy Creek, Stockbridge, Locust Grove and Drew.
TERRY WHITE FILE
— AGE: 42
— HIGH SCHOOL: Carver-Columbus
— COLLEGE: Bethune-Cookman, ABAC and Talladega
— COACHING: 10 years, 3 at middle school and the past 7 coaching the varsity at Shaw.
RECORD AT SHAW
Year |Record |Rds in State
2010 |19-10 |1
2009 |15-13 |1
2008 |23-5 |1
2007 |17-11 |2
2006 |19-10 |2
2005 |23-7* |2
2004 |14-11 |0
* Region 2-AAA champion