Former Campbell County High School standout Matt Housley was named boys’ head basketball coach Friday at his alma mater.
The announcement came after a search to replace Barry Jones, who resigned last month after four years at CCHS.
Housley, who spent the past season as boys’ head basketball coach at Jacksboro Middle School, was one of three finalists for the Campbell County job. The other two were LaFollette coaching legend Vic King, an assistant last season on Jellico High School’s substate team, and former University of Tennessee basketball player Jon Higgins.
“I’m really excited to get going,” said Housley.
“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but I think it’s going to be good. As soon as I can, I want to meet with the returning players and establish some guidelines…make sure everybody is on the same page.”
After graduating from high school, Housley played college basketball at Bryan College, where he earned a teaching certification in math in 2009. He spent one season as an assistant to Jones at CCHS, and coached the freshman team to a 14-3 record with losses only to Oak Ridge and Fulton. The following year, Housley took the Jacksboro job and led the Eagles to 18 wins and a berth in the 2011 East Tennessee Final Four.
Cody Parker recently resigned his position as head football coach at LaFollette Middle School to fill the vacancy left by Housley at Jacksboro. Parker was an assistant basketball coach last season at LaFollette and played high school football and basketball at CCHS.
“I want to thank my parents and my fiancé Jessica Byrge for being behind me always,” said Housley.
“And I want to thank Mr. (Donnie) Poston, Mr. Johnny Bruce, Mr. (Robbie) Heatherly, Mrs. (Sherry) Chapman and the (school) board for having enough confidence in me to give me this opportunity to live out my dream.”
Jared Laverdiere, a Jacksboro native who played basketball at Maryville College, will be Housley’s assistant at Campbell County. Laverdiere was an assistant coach last season at Maryville High School.
“I hope (our players) can hit the ground running,” said Housley.
“We’re absolutely behind the eight ball. A lot of other teams are already having open gym and trying to poach our eighth graders away.”
Housley has big plans for Nick Litton, a 6-foot-4 junior forward who led the Cougars in scoring last season.
“I think Nick is going to be something,” said Housley, who wants Litton to pad his lanky frame with 20 lbs. before the start of pre-season practice in November.
The new coach also hopes to close the recruiting pipeline to neighboring counties.
“It seems like we always have good middle school teams. Then we’ll lose one or two players to other schools, and there will be two or three more that won’t play when they get (to CCHS),” said Housley.
“I desperately want to have every eighth grader from both middle schools next year. The idea is to keep the core together.”