Another New Coach
Lenoir City promotes Brandon Kirkland to head coach
By Jesse Smithey knoxnews.com
Lenoir City High School didn't have to look far to land its next boys' basketball coach.
Brandon Kirkland, an assistant coach for the Panthers for the past three years, has been named head coach.
Kirkland takes over for Kevin Windle, who resigned late last month to become the head coach of the William Blount boys' basketball team.
Lenoir City athletic director Janet McGee said that Kirkland has been an exemplary coach and teacher for the last three years, and is well deserving of the opportunity to take over the Panthers' program.
"He's a young man of good character and integrity - and the kids respect him," said McGee.
"He's a great employee and he does a great job in the classroom. He's very organized and he really studies the game."
McGee said several parents of Lenoir City players backed Kirkland for head coach during the search process.
"They (the parents) said he would do a great job, and they would be happy to have him as the head coach."
The 29-year-old Kirkland said he plans on staying put in Lenoir City for years to come.
"I don't want to bounce around, uproot my kids and have a different job every two, three or four years," said Kirkland, who along with his wife, Lindsey, has two young children, Adelynn and Micah.
"Lenoir City has become home to my family. I would love to retire from here."
Kirkland was an assistant coach for four seasons at Upperman before coming to Lenoir City. He is a 1999 graduate of Tellico Plains and has a master's degree from Tennessee Tech.
McGee said 28 people applied for the post.
"I'd say we were very interested in about 10 of them. Several were coaching in college and we had several area high school coaches looking to move," said McGee.
But the bottom line, she said, was Lenoir City already had a strong in-house candidate.
"We love it when we have the chance to promote from within the system when you feel good about your people."
Lenoir City, which was 17-11 last season, returns two starters this fall.
Kirkland said he's looking forward to rolling up his sleeves and getting to work in brutal District 4-AAA.
"It's one of the toughest districts in the state, there are no nights off," he said.
"Being a first-year coach, it's a challenge, but a challenge I look forward to. You can definitely prove yourself."