Former LaGrange College player and graduate assistant Britt Gaylor was hired to coach both the boys’ and girls’ varsity teams.
Gaylor is replacing former boys’ coach Matt Dalrymple, who left after nine seasons to become the girls’ coach and the athletic director at Southwest Georgia Academy, as well as former girls’ coach Matt Dorsey, who left after two years to become a coach at Springwood School in Alabama.
Gaylor is no stranger to the game of basketball.
He was born with the game in his blood as the son of one of former Chapel Hill basketball coach Jim Gaylor, who won 351 games as a boys varsity coach at Chapel Hill, Murray County and Clarksville Academy in Clarksville, Tenn.
At LaGrange College, Gaylor was a four-year letterman, and he averaged nearly seven points a game as a senior after missing his junior year with an injury.
Off the court, Gaylor earned all-academic honors in the Great South Athletic Conference three times.
Gaylor also earned numerous honors at LaGrange College, including the Al Mariotti Leadership Award, an award he won twice.
Gaylor, who graduated in the spring of 2011 with a degree in psychology, spent the 2011-2012 season as an assistant coach at LaGrange College under men’s coach Kendal Wallace. Gaylor is now teaching technology at LaGrange Academy when not drawing up plays on the hardwood.
Gaylor played his prep basketball at Chapel Hill High School, where he played for his father and graduated in 2006.
With Gaylor being hired to coach two teams, he admits it will take a lot of careful planning to effectively complete the task.
“I think if I manage my time correctly and really commit myself to both teams as an individual and separate them together, I think it can be done,” Gaylor said.
Gaylor’s plan to separate the two teams is a simple one.
He’ll plan for the girls’ games during mornings when he has free time between classes, then plan for the boys’ games in the afternoons when he has some more free time. Either way, he’s going to be one of the busiest coaches in Troup County when the Warriors open the season at home against Bible Baptist on Monday.
The girls’ game is at 5 p.m. followed by the boys’ game at 6:30 p.m.
Fortunately, all boys and girls games are played on the same days, one followed by the other, which will simplify the schedule and time demands of coaching both.
“I have a really good assistant coach,” Gaylor said of Colby Brown, who played at the Academy and graduated in 2006. “He’s done a great job so far helping me out. We’re going to kind of play it by ear how we handle pre-game situations, but I think we’ll be able to handle it.”
Gaylor explained that he wanted to be a head coach since he was 2-years-old when he used to attend his father’s games, as the elder Gaylor would pace the sidelines.
“I watched my dad who was probably my biggest coaching influence and hero,” Gaylor said. “Of course, I started liking other coaches that coached college and professionally so I followed them and I just really love the game, so I want to pass along my passion to the younger guys.”
Gaylor said he’s setting a high standard for both programs.
“For boys and girls, we’re going to win state,” he said. “There’s not anything else to try and achieve. We’re not going to try to strive for anything else but the top. I tell them the old quote is, ‘to strive for the moon and you’ll reach the stars.’ I don’t want them to think that. I want them to think when they strive for the moon you’re going to get to the moon.”
Gaylor also stressed he wanted his teams to be a family.
“You’re always going to remember the relationships you build,” he said.
His father enjoyed success in Georgia basketball coaching, winning 351 boys’ varsity games in 20 seasons before retiring due to health reasons. When he heard his son wanted to be a coach and follow in his footsteps, nothing could have made him prouder.
“I’m extremely proud he decided to become a coach,” Jim Gaylor said. “Anytime a son follows in his dad’s footsteps, it’s immeasurable the feeling a father gets from that. I can’t even describe the feeling I get that he did that.”
Jim Gaylor said with him in coaching and his wife a school teacher, neither were surprised their son, the youngest of three, decided to go into education. His oldest son is a minister and daughter just returned home from a stint in the Peace Corp, plus she is also a teacher.
“We knew Britt was going to be a coach practically from birth,” his father said. “All my children, we dragged them off to all the ball games. At 4 years old, Britt would put on a nice shirt and a tie and go to my games when I was coaching in Murray County. He would stand behind the visitor’s bench and pace up and down and he would just be coaching away.”
Britt would also recite the starting lineups of his dad’s teams, as well as the lineups of teams playing on television.
“He learned to count by watching the scoreboard at basketball games,” Jim Gaylor said. “So he could count and add and subtract before kindergarten by watching the scoreboards. We were pretty sure he was going to be a coach early on.”
Britt Gaylor did not discuss plans about coaching in the college ranks, but that that may be a possibility, his father mentioned.
But Britt did mention something he was fairly adamant about, perhaps along-term goal, but one he would like to see come true.
Indiana is a state where high-school basketball is king and it has a rich tradition steeped in the backyard basketball goals, hoops hanging over barn doors and children playing the game outdoors in subzero temperatures.
“My goal is to someday coach in Indiana,” Gaylor said.
When told that, his father replied, “Is that right? Well isn’t that something.”