PCA taps Belhaven assistant as new coach

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 16, 2002

[05/16/02]A college assistant coach is expected to be tapped as Porters Chapel Academy’s boys basketball coach at a school board meeting on Tuesday.

Kevin Griffin, who most recently coached at Belhaven College, resigned his post their and will try to breathe new life into a program that has struggled.

“We’re trying to get all of our programs to be the best they can,” said PCA athletics director Bubba Mims, who added that former coach Roger Browning’s desire to get into administration was the driving force for him leaving basketball.

“We want to get started as quickly as possible.”

Browning started coaching the Eagles in November, 1999 after Billy Sills gave up the team.

In three-plus seasons, Browning went 30-64, including going 15-8 in his first season.

Griffin, Belhaven’s sports information director as well as assistant coach, said his desire to get back into the high school ranks was the main reason for his accepting the job.

“I like the fact that I will be able to teach the game of basketball,” Griffin said. “At the college level, players think they know everything.”

Teaching he will do. The 29-year-old Griffin said he plans to install a Princeton-like offense which uses motion and back-door cuts to open up the inside game.

“It’s very hard to defend and not many schools run it,” said Griffin, who has ties to Princeton through coaches and relatives. “What I like most about it is that it creates isolations and doesn’t allow double teams.”

Griffin said the offense will be beneficial to the Eagles’ top returning player, Joseph Ivey. He admitted, because of a limited number of players and the fact that last year’s team only had four practices before the first game, getting the system in place will take time.

The bigger challenge will be returning a team that has not made the playoffs in three seasons. Over that span, the Eagles went 15-56 the past three seasons, had two wins twice and seven once.

“I wouldn’t have accepted the job if I didn’t feel confident,” said Griffin, who took over the program at Calvery Christian in Georgia after the team went 1-21, then won a state championship the next season. “I’m not saying that’s going to happen, but I want to come in here and win.”

Mims said the proven track record and solid background was the driving force behind his hiring.

“He’s a good, Christian guy and we’re a Christian school,” Mims said. “This guy hit me pretty good.”

Mims said the school talked with four others about the position before grabbing Griffin.

A standout player at Central Fellowship Christian Academy in Macon, Ga., Griffin holds the record for career points with 1,501.

Griffin plans on playing in one summer camp at Central Hinds Academy and having “about three practices” this summer.