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ALBRIGHT: PHS girls’ basketball doesn’t need to look far for its next head coach

It’s time.

Parkersburg High’s Phil Wilson deserves better, and quite frankly so do his coaching abilities.

If an assistant coach’s job is to be prepared to step in at a moment’s notice to assume head coaching duties, then Wilson’s gone above and beyond the call — repeatedly.

It is no wonder he’s celebrated the Big Reds’ recent two state championships harder than most. “He’s put pretty much everything into the program,” daughter Bre Wilson said. Exactly.

And now his reward should be the head coaching job of one of the premier programs in the state. Save the whining about his coaching style. Shelf the fright of giving a first-time head coach the reigns of a championship program. Just listen for a minute, and you might learn something.

Dig past the upper layer of his unquestioned devotion and search through the complex and rich underbelly to find someone who knows more about basketball than possibly imaginable. It’s all on the table presenting great evidence to his hiring.

Sure, his coaching demands a lot of everyone. He prods his players to play at their best all the time. But, “that is just how he coaches. I think the players coming in need to understand he’s not doing it to be rude or mean. He coaches that way to motivate you and it really works out in the long run as he pushes you to play at your hardest,” Bre said.

That philosophy goes back to his approach and knowledge of the game. “He’s just built up his own reputation, everyone knows what he does and what he is good at. He’s better at understanding and asking more questions to see our side of things. He makes you think more into the game then just the X’s and O’s and always has a reasoning to have communication between a player and him as a coach,” former PHS player Aleea Crites said.

Remember, it became pretty obvious this past season just how well the players respond to Wilson when he is on the bench. They performed to a higher level with him on the sideline. In a regional final against Cabell Midland, they nearly pulled off the upset of a state semifinalist. After falling behind, Wilson made adjustments and his substitutions and strategy made a huge difference.

As luck would have it, this veteran Big Red team, full of people who played the last two years, needs a veteran coach. Someone who pays attention to what is coming up and is going to be ready to make the necessary adjustments to the talent he has to keep the Big Reds at the top of the pile.

The group is full of hard-nosed players used to his coaching style and what will be asked of them. It really is a match made in heaven.

And when it comes to keeping players rising up into the PHS system, there’s no better representative than Wilson. He’s so ingrained into the youth basketball scene that he knows what Jefferson or Criss or Neale or Vienna have on their third grade teams. Talk about the ability to plan ahead.

Now, this all isn’t to say athletic director Chris Way shouldn’t go through the entire interview process. Opening up the post for various interested parties to throw their names into consideration is the right thing to do.

But it is going to be awfully hard to find a candidate who’s spent more time building up a positive rapport with his players, knows more people in the community, and has more ties and basketball knowledge about local high school teams.

“I don’t think anyone deserves it more than him. He’s always been there for all of us, especially the kids who have graduated. Even the kids that are there now, he puts everything he has into the Big Reds. They should be grateful to have him as coach,” Bre said.

“He will do an amazing job and hold the team to a high standard,” former PHS player Maddie Leggett said.

Contact Joe Albright at jalbright@newsandsentinel.com.

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