Stepping into the role of coach at a successful girls program at Fred T. Foard, Brad Mangum attempts to follow in the footsteps of his mentor.
Mangum takes over for Wendy Price, who coached 11 seasons, won 182 games and made the playoffs nine times.
The former South Caldwell assistant under Lady Spartans coach Jeff Parham for seven seasons realizes the program’s prestige at Foard, but wants to build it further.
“I’m just thrilled to have the opportunity,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for coach Price, what she’s done and the tradition she built. I hope to take this program to the next level and be a contender year end and year out.”
Mangum said his time spent coaching under Parham prepared him for the girls’ basketball job at Foard.
“He is very successful,” Mangum said. “He is my mentor. Most everything I know, I’ve learned from him. He’s been a big influence in my life in basketball. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be in the position I am right now. I owe him a lot of credit for the opportunity.”
The Lady Tigers finished 14-11 last year, making the 3A playoffs.
Returning from last year’s fourth-place finishing team are a solid group of players, including juniors Brooke Robinson and Chelsea Turner, as well as sophomore Kayla Whitworth.
“We have tons of potential,” Mangum said. “I’m very excited about our possibilities this year. The girls are starting to really buy into the new system. As long as they keep believing in it and working hard, good things will happen.”
Despite a somewhat inexperienced team, Turner said she’s noticed younger players stepping up.
“Hope Danner and Maggie Gettys have been doing really well,” Turner said. “Maggie is a sophomore and Hope is a freshman. They are doing really well and stepping up as leaders.”
Mangum said many players have assumed a leadership role with the team.
“We have new people stepping up every day,” he said. “On a daily basis, there isn’t anyone individually stepping up. It’s different every day. The one good thing is that they are competing with one another. That’s ultimately going to make both them and us better.”
Mangum offers more of a personal interaction with his players, something Robinson said she likes..
“He works a lot with us on individual skills,” she said. “He’s worked a lot with me on my post-up play.”
As for goals this season, Mangum says it he isn’t making specific ones, but rather ones in general.
“We don’t have a particular number we are looking for, as far as total wins. As long as he girls just come in, continue working hard and giving us an opportunity to win. We’ll see where the chips fall and where we are at the end of the year.”