ECHS names head basketball coachPublished 4:29pm Saturday, June 23, 2012
When the Escambia County High School Blue Devils earned the opportunity to travel to Birmingham to play in the Final Four tournament last year, then-head coach Anthony Hayes was only able to coach his team in the state tourney because he was on leave from duty with the National Guard. Hayes has since been deployed to Afghanistan for what could be as long as 400 days, meaning he will not return to ECHS for the 2012-13 school year.
Thursday, ECHS principal Zickeyous Byrd filled the big hole left by Hayes with a coach talented enough to keep the program atop the standings, and maybe even take them to the big prize of a state championship.
Earlando Courtney will come to ECHS as a math teacher and head basketball coach with plenty of experience and success under his belt.
Courtney was most recently employed with the Wilcox County Board of Education where he taught math and was an assistant football coach in Camden, but prior to that he spent a year as an assistant basketball coach at Linden High School before taking the head coaching position at Greensboro High School in Hale County.
During his three years at Greensboro, Courtney amassed an overall record of 68-44 and won the 3A Alabama High School Athletic Association State Championship. Courtney was also named the 2011 3A AHSAA “Making a Difference” Coach of the Year.
Byrd said getting Courtney on the ECHS staff is a great step for the school, both athletically and academically.
“We were able to nab him up” Byrd said. “We are delighted to have coach Courtney joining our staff. Coach Courtney has a proven track record of not only success on the basketball court, but a proven track record of working hard to go after scholarships for his players. Coach Courtney has a student first philosophy, which is the same approach we have adopted for this year. Athletics will be students first, which will enable them to be better athletes, and their skills in the classroom along with their talents, will take them far in life. We are looking forward to a dynamic year at ECHS in the classroom as well as in our extracurricular activities.”
Academically, Courtney is a graduate of St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY, where he received a bachelor’s degree in computational mathematics.
Before teaching and coaching in Alabama, Courtney taught math and served as dean of discipline with the New York City Department of Education.
Courtney began teaching math in Linden in 2007.