Extreme makeover, the McKinley High School coaching edition, continued Tuesday.
McKinley Principal Herman Brister announced two more key staff changes just six days after the hiring of former LSU player Harold Boudreaux as the school’s new boys basketball coach for 2015-16.
Former Southern Lab and Southern University basketball standout Krystal Huggins was hired as the Panthers’ girls basketball coach. Huggins served as McKinley’s head softball coach and was an assistant volleyball coach last season.
Baton Rouge High assistant coach Bridgette Bowman was hired as the McKinley volleyball coach.
The latest changes end the tenure of coaches who spent a combined 41 seasons in their respective sports at McKinley. Brenda Simon coached volleyball at McKinley for 31 seasons, while Corey Grant was the girls basketball coach for 10 seasons.
“I just feel like it’s time to bring in some fresh ideas,” Brister said. “I took an entire school year to evaluate the performance of the teams in each sport. The process is continuing. I’ll be meeting with the track and baseball coaches as soon as their seasons end.”
McKinley is hosting a meet-and-greet for the new basketball staff, including Boudreaux, at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the McKinley Alumni Center. MHS boys basketball player Keion Brown is also scheduled to sign with Faulkner State (Alabama) Community College during the event. Alumni and parents of current student/athletes also are invited to attend.
Boudreaux accepted the boys basketball job last week, replacing Marvin Dotson, who coached the Panthers for two seasons. Boudreaux spent the past six seasons coaching at Brusly, leading teams to three quarterfinals berths.
Huggins won three state titles as a basketball player and was part of seven state titles in track at Southern Lab.
“I’m not sure what’s out there next for me,” Grant said. “I’m not sure if I’ll be at McKinley, or where I’ll be. When a new principal comes in they typically want to hire their own people. It happens.”
Grant said all coaches were given the option to apply for their jobs along with any new applicants and said the process included interviews with a screening committee.
Simon led the Panthers to the volleyball playoffs 30 times. Simon said she plans to remain at the school to work with golf and boys soccer.
“Through the years I’ve coached some great players and got the chance to become friends with some wonderful colleagues,” Simon said. “I’m going to miss that interaction with the players and those colleagues. I’m grateful for the success we’ve had.”
Bowman’s son, Jeremy Williams, is a former McKinley football player. She served as head softball coach and assistant basketball coach for the Panthers before moving to BRHS.