MURFREESBORO – Dyron Birdwell started his two-week spring break with a job interview.
He’s ending it with a head coaching position in the ‘Boro.
Birdwell, who spent the past five seasons as an assistant at Oak Ridge, was named the next Siegel High boys basketball coach on Wednesday, replacing Ben Dotson.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” said Birdwell, 26, who played high school basketball at Macon County.
Dotson resigned after eight seasons to spend more time with his family. Siegel went 8-18 this past season.
Siegel principal Larry Creasy said he had a large interest in the opening, receiving at least 50 resumes for the position from at least 10 states, including much of the South.
“Coach Birdwell has such a passion for the game,” Creasy said.
Birdwell said he plans on meeting the team Thursday morning.
Birdwell, a Tennessee graduate, was a student manager for former coach Bruce Pearl, who is now coaching at Auburn.
“Dyron was mature as a basketball coach way beyond his years,” said Pearl in a text message through Auburn’s sports information department, “His work ethic and loyalty were second to none. I guarantee you his teams will play hard.”
Birdwell was the freshman coach at Oak Ridge while assisting Aaron Green, the varsity coach. The freshmen went 68-6 under Birdwell.
Birdwell said Siegel’s success on the hardwood peaked his interest.
“My main interest for this job came from the tradition of succeeding and excellence at Siegel High in basketball,” said Birdwell, who will teach English at Siegel. “I think they’ve been to six state tournaments since it opened in 2003.
“I had a great job at Oak Ridge and loved what I was doing. There are certain jobs I would leave for to become their head coach. Siegel was at or near the top of that list.”
Birdwell said he is familiar with the Murfreesboro area. He’s close friends with Matt Wilson, who married former MTSU women’s basketball player Laken Leonard.
He said his style of play will be dictated by the athletes in the program. However, the program will have three measuring points — defense, rebounding and transition offense.
“We are going to play an uptempo style and press,” he said.
Reach Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 and on Twitter @Kreager.