Sizemore returning to coach TCR girls

Sizemore returning to coach TCR girls

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Sizemore returning to coach TCR girls

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Rich Sizemore saw that his alma mater was in a bind.

Roberson could not offer a teaching position to both its boys and girls varsity basketball coaches for the upcoming year.

That led the hall of fame coach, whose name has adorned the school’s court since 2008, to decide on one more run.

The Rams announced Thursday that Sizemore has been hired to lead its girls basketball program. Duties will be shuffled to make Adam Ballard the new boys coach.

“Roberson was caught in a tough and unique situation,” Sizemore said.

“Hiring teachers and on-staff coaches is just not like it used to be. It has become a very difficult thing. Fortunately, I am in a position that I am able to help. I thought about it for a long time and coaching the girls this year had to be something I was excited about. I came to a decision (Wednesday) that this was something that I really wanted to do.”

Sizemore, 59, won 448 career games and 19 regular-season or tournament conference championships before resigning as the Rams’ boys coach in 2005. He was inducted into Roberson’s Ring of Gold athletics hall of fame in 2011.

Sizemore previously coached the girls basketball team for seven years and has a daughter, Kathryn, who is a senior at Roberson.

“My wife, Pam, and daughter are on board and supportive of me in this move,” Sizemore said.

“Because of Kathryn, I either know or have heard of most of these girls for many years.”

One of those girls is the reigning Mountain Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

Senior forward Cheyenne Logan committed to Lenoir-Rhyne in August. She averaged 13.7 points and 7.9 rebounds a game for the MAC 4-A regular-season champion Rams as a junior.

Sizemore graduated from Roberson in 1972 and is believed to be the only person who has ever played in the annual Blue-White All-Star game and coached both a boys and girls team in the exhibition.

Roberson named its court for Sizemore five years ago. The gym itself is named for another former Roberson coach, Buddy Baldwin.

Sizemore wanted to extend his gratitude to both Ballard and retired girls coach Tim Epley on Thursday.

“(Epley) is a good friend and has given so much of himself to the girls basketball program,” Sizemore said.

“And I would like to commend Adam Ballard for working with these girls all summer. He did a great job with them.”

Ballard was previously named the replacement for Epley. But that was before the school’s former boys coach, Kevin Keen, stepped down in June. Ballard has six years of experience as the junior-varsity boys coach in Skyland.

Roberson informed its boys and girls players of the coaching hires on Thursday morning.

“The kids are excited, our administration is excited and I’m excited,” Rams athletic director Laura Beatty said.

“Both basketball programs are fortunate to get this caliber of coaches. I feel like both programs are in good shape with these kind of guys to coach them.”

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