Girls basketball coach Brad Mangum is leaving Fred T. Foard for a former rival high school of the Tigers.
Mangum was approved as a high school teacher on Monday by the Alexander County School Board and also named the next girls basketball coach at ACHS.
Mangum said there was one main reason for his decision to make the coaching move.
“It was an opportunity to have a teaching position, as well as the coaching position,” Mangum said. “That was the biggest motivator.”
A former South Caldwell assistant coach under Jeff Parham from 2002-08, Mangum was hired on Aug. 12, 2011 to replace Wendy Price as the girls basketball coach at Foard.
Price had spent the prior 11 seasons as Lady Tigers hoops coach.
Attempting to build on a 14-12 playoff season, the Lady Tigers finished 14-11 in Mangum’s first season.
This past season, the Lady Tigers experienced much more success under Mangum, tying three ways with Hickory and Alexander Central for the Northwestern 3A/4A regular season title.
All three squads had matching 10-2 marks in conference games.
Foard finished this past season with a 18-9 overall record and once again made the 3A playoffs.
“I loved having the opportunity to begin my varsity coaching career at Foard,” Mangum said. “Sally Bradshaw believed in me and gave me a great opportunity. The girls believed in what I did, and I am forever grateful to each one of them for that.”
Mangum, a South Caldwell High, CVCC and Appalachian State alum, takes over an Alexander Central program that went 25-5 under Matt Taylor last winter.
Taylor resigned after four seasons as coach on May 10 due to personal reasons.
Most of the players from that 25-5 squad return next year, including senior trio Kelsie Rhyne, Taylor Wike and Marie Ritchie, as well as standout junior Madi Suddreth.
“That makes for a great core,” Mangum said of the four Alexander Central players. “They are very talented, and we look forward to getting our sleeves rolled up and getting to work.”
The Lady Cougars will also enter into the new North Piedmont 3A/4A conference this upcoming season.
Teams in that new conference include Lake Norman, Mooresville, North Iredell, North Lincoln, South Iredell, Statesville and West Iredell.
“I don’t know much about the new conference,” Mangum said. “I do know North Iredell has been good in recent years.”
Foard athletic director Rob Bliss said Monday that the school is still taking applications for the girls basketball coaching job and it will start interviews very soon.
Two other Catawba County high schools will also have new head girls hoops coaches this winter.
Amber Vaughan was hired to take over the Maiden girls basketball program on May 22.
She replaced Katie Chapman, who stepped down after four seasons.
Newton-Conover hired former N.C. State standout and WNBA player Andrea Stinson for its vacant coaching position.
Stinson replaced Ike Williams, who left his post after two season to become an assistant women's hoops coach at Catawba Valley Community College.