New coach on the block: Kenny Coleman takes over as Callaway boys basketball coach

Published 3:04 pm Thursday, June 15, 2023

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When the Callaway boys basketball team was looking for a new coach in the offseason, the school found the perfect candidate was already a Cavalier as they promoted Kenny Coleman from assistant to head coach.

“I was surprised but glad for sure,” Coleman said. “I’m not sure who all interviewed for the job, and I have no head coaching experience at the high school level, so I wasn’t sure if I would get it or not.”

The people in Coleman’s life always believed he had what it took to be a coach, but he did not enter the profession until 2017 at Callaway Middle when landed his first assistant coaching job. He worked his way up the ranks and now gets to lead an entire program.

“I want to make sure we are using basketball to teach kids not just about the game of basketball but also about life experiences,” Coleman said. “I know that the things I’ve learned through basketball have helped me throughout my life.”

Callaway is home for Coleman and while he has already shared the court with his son and star player DeShun, to get the opportunity to be the head coach while his son will be a senior leader for the team makes it that much more special.

“It’s been a pleasure to coach my son, and I was able to coach both my sons together during my first year here,” Coleman said. “Now, to get to coach DeShun in his senior year is going to be special.”

Taking over for former coach Andre Johnson does make the feeling bittersweet however. Johnson helped get Coleman his start in coaching at Callaway Middle and had a big impact on Coleman early in his coaching career.

Johnson has kept the standard high during his three years as head coach, winning two region championships and finishing second last season. Coleman knows he has his work cut out for him to keep the standard high and then eventually reset it even higher.

“We are going to use the last few years as a standard,” Coleman said. “We are going to continue to come in and practice hard looking to win every day.

“If you have that winning passion every day in practice, it will carry over to the games.”

Continuity will be the name of the game with Coleman in charge. He will inevitably add some new wrinkles, but the system Johnson had in place will continue under the stewardship of Coleman.

“They will be familiar with the system because I’m not trying to come in and change many things,” Coleman said. “I have a certain way of doing things, but I will keep most of the foundation Johnson has started.”

Coleman is already getting to work with the team in the summer and has eyes on seeing improvement even in year one of him in charge.

“My main goal is to further develop the individual skills of the players,” he said. “I want to have players that know how to play the game of basketball.”