Darah Huffman said she had been contemplating a move toward administration, and she seized an opportunity.
Huffman, who presided over one of the state’s top girls basketball programs at J.L. Mann for the past decade, has resigned her teaching and coaching positions at that school to become an assistant principal at Mauldin High School.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity,” Huffman said. “I’m really excited to be over at Mauldin and working for (new principal) Scott Rhymer. The Mauldin community’s fantastic.
“I absolutely had a fantastic experience at Mann and loved it. It’s bittersweet. I’m excited about this new chapter in my life, but I’ll definitely miss J.L. Mann as well.”
In 10 seasons as Mann’s coach, Huffman compiled a record of 229-42. Under her guidance, the Patriots reached the third round of the playoffs seven times, won at least 20 games nine times and won three consecutive Class AAA state championships from 2006 through 2008.
“(Coaching’s) been a huge part of my life the last 10 years,” she said. “I loved every second of it. But it’s just time for a different challenge.
“I think it all kind of falls together in the same category — coaching, teaching, administration. You’re all involved with kids and people. It’s all similar, just different types of the job. I think I’ll take some of my strengths from coaching and teaching into administration.”
* Melissa Lewis, a three-sport standout at Chapman High School in the 1980s, is returning to the Upstate to become the girls basketball coach at Woodmont.
Lewis replaces Nikki Anthony, who resigned after three seasons for personal reasons, according to Woodmont athletic director Ashley Jenkins.
Lewis has spent the past five years at Shiloh High School in Snellville, Ga., where she coached softball. Her teams were chosen Gwinnett County Softball Program of the Year in 2006 and 2010.
Along with coaching and teaching, Lewis also has officiated basketball on up to the NCAA Division I women’s level. She’s worked games in the SEC, Conference USA, MEAC, Southern Conference and others. She was selected to officiate the 2005 Georgia girls Class AAA state championship game and the 2006 NCAA Division II women’s national championship game.
Lewis, all-state in basketball and all-region in volleyball and softball at Chapman, earned a scholarship in basketball to Lander University.