More weigh in on significance of Laura Barry coaching N.C. high school boys basketball team

Photo: Darryl Webb/For the Arizona Republic

More weigh in on significance of Laura Barry coaching N.C. high school boys basketball team

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More weigh in on significance of Laura Barry coaching N.C. high school boys basketball team

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A woman has been hired to coach a major boys high school basketball program in North Carolina. Now some are looking to her to see if there’s a broader future for women leading boys teams.

As updated by the Charlotte Observer, and previously reported right here, Laura Barry has been named as the new boys basketball coach at Wautaga (N.C.) High School. Barry has served as the head girls basketball coach at the school for the past three seasons and will continue in that role while also taking over the boys program.

RELATED: North Carolina high school girls basketball coach hired to also lead school’s boy’s team

According to the Observer, Barry is just the second known woman to lead a boys basketball program in the state. Sheila Bolles led the Hoggard High School (Wilmington, N.C.) boys basketball team for nine years in the late 90s and early 2000s before becoming an athletic director.

For Barry, the forthcoming challenge is daunting, but also exciting and attainable with the right support structure.

“I guess I’ll tell you what this is like in about nine months,” Barry told the Observer. “It’s going to be the having the energy of back-to-back practices and more importantly, back-to-back games. There’s absolutely a little fear there, but having people around me I can trust and feel confident giving responsibilities to is important.“I thought (Wautaga principal Chris Blanton) was joking. But early on, he said, ‘You should think about this.’ I said, ‘I’m not leaving the girls to coach boys. That’s a terrible look. That’s not me.’ He just kept saying, ‘Keep an open mind.’”While some other North Carolina high school sports administrators stopped short of calling Barry’s hiring a new watershed, all agreed that it is a significant positive step for the advancement of female coaches and leaders across sports and their traditional boundaries.Not that Barry is interested in any of that. Her focus remains squarely on helping players achieve their best.

“I immediately shy away from that kind of stuff,” she said. “The example for young girls, though, it’s awesome they can see a woman coaching guys because you don’t see it much.

“But in terms of making history, I don’t want any of that. It’s about helping and serving kids. That’s why I decided to do this.”

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More weigh in on significance of Laura Barry coaching N.C. high school boys basketball team
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