Lee High School took two major steps toward building its athletic program by hiring Brandon White as its boys basketball coach and Valencia Wilson as its girls basketball coach for 2016-17.
White was the boys basketball coach at Parkview Baptist the past two seasons. Wilson, previously the head coach at now-defunct Redemptorist, worked as a boys assistant coach at St. Helena College and Career Academy this season.
Lee Principal Nanette McCann also announced recent LSU graduate Lauren Stanley is the school’s cross country and tennis coach.
“It’s such a great opportunity to build a program from the ground up,” White said. “The chance to work in a brand-new school facility also is very appealing. I feel like we’ll have the opportunity to do some great things.
“I’m grateful for all the experience I gained at Parkview, first as an assistant for a year and then two years as head coach. I learned so much working with the administration and (Athletic Director Kenny Guillot). I’ll miss that family atmosphere.”
Lee High, a magnet school, moves into its new state-of-art campus located on the Lee Drive site where the old campus was previously located in the fall. Lee is currently a Class 2A school but is expected to move up to a higher classification at its new location.
White led Parkview to a 15-14 record last spring, including a berth in the Class 3A playoffs. The Eagles won their first-round playoff game and lost to eventual semifinalist St. Louis Catholic in the second round.
The move also gives the 28-year-old White the chance to work with his mother, Michelle Haynes, who is the volleyball coach at the school.
Wilson built Redemptorist into a Class 2A power in short order and earned All-Metro Coach of the Year honors and Class 2A Coach of the Year honors along the way. The final Redemptorist team in 2014-15 was the No. 4 playoff seed. Wilson’s 2013-14 team advanced to the 2A quarterfinals.
“I am humbled and gracious and ready to go,” Wilson, 29, said. “I’ve been in situations before where you have to build a program and I like that challenge. The chance to work in a new school is such a huge thing, too.
“With the athletic facilities and academics Lee will have, we should be able to compete with every public school and private school in the area.”
McCann added, “We are excited to have coach White, coach Wilson and coach Stanley join the Lee Magnet High School faculty for the 2016-17 school year. We are fortunate to add three outstanding young coaches to our veteran coaching staff.”