Joshua Epperson to coach at Lenoir City

By Jesse Smithey
First came Todd Wright.

Then Kelly Herron.

Now, Joshua Epperson is taking his turn.

Epperson, who is Lenoir City High School's third girls' basketball coach in as many seasons, will meet his new players soon and get to work on restoring continuity and gaining trust.

They haven't had a constant at coach since Joe Lee resigned in 2010 after 29 seasons.

"Stability is the biggest thing right now," Epperson said. "When you're the school's fourth coach in four years, you got your work cut out for you, but I'm ready for it and excited about it, too."

Epperson, 31, went to high school in Kansas and graduated college from Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn.

He was the girls' basketball coach at Unicoi County the past two seasons, going 46-16 and winning the District 1-AA tournament in March. He coached at Cumberland County for three seasons, guiding the team to a state sectional appearance in 2009. He also has a year of college coaching experience at Lubbock Christian.

Taking the job at Lenoir City gives his wife, he said, the opportunity to stay home with their first child, who is due this summer. The move also brings them closer to family.

But Epperson also believes that Lenoir City also is a "chance to build something." Trying to do that in District 4-AAA against the likes of Farragut, Bearden, Maryville, Heritage, William Blount, West and Catholic didn't deter that vision.

"I think that makes it more appealing, the fact that we get to play against great competition," Epperson said. "It's good for the kids who are at Lenoir City, because they'll get to play against the better teams in one of the better districts in the state."

Lenoir City has won two postseason games since joining Class AAA for the 2005-06 season. It has yet to reach a Region 2-AAA tournament.

"That's our first step is to get back there," he said. "That's something I want this school to get used to."