Tullahoma will have a two-time state title winner and a national champion in 2014 leading its girls basketball program when Chad Hidbon was introduced on Tuesday as the new head coach of the Lady Wildcats.
“My family and I are really excited to be a part of the Tullahoma community,” Hibdon said. “We are a family of faith, so we have asked what is next for us as a family. After conversations with several people, you could see the vision, energy and excitement that Tullahoma High School and the community have for girls’ basketball. Tullahoma is a place where we as a family feel we can come in and earn, celebrate the history of the program and add a new chapter to the story while also flowing into the community.What drew us to Tullahoma was the community because that is it “That’s important to us as a family. Family, community, education and support were the most important factors we were looking for, and that’s what Tullahoma will give us.”
Hibdon last trained at the high school level in 2015 when he led Blackman to his second-class AAA state title in a row after finishing that season with a 32-2 grade. In 2014, Lady Blaze won their first state championship and was crowned national champions by ESPN, USA today and MaxPreps after ending the year with a record of 34-1. In his 10 seasons at Blackman, Hibdon led Lady Blaze to a record of 199-98.
While his team was successful on the pitch at Blackman, Hibdon also received several individual awards. In 2014, Hidon was awarded USA today National Coach of the Year and Naismith All-USA National Girls Basketball Coach of the Year. He was then named a Naismith Award finalist in 2015. That same year, he was also named Women’s Basketball National Coach of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association, the first Tennessee coach to win the award. The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) awarded the Hibdon 2015 District 9 Coach of the Year. He was also named a finalist for the 2015 Pat Summitt Trophy, an honor that the WBCA gives to the United States Marine Corps and the WBCA High School National Coach of the Year.
“While we had several impressive candidates, Chad Hibdon was the coach who checked every box on our list,” said THS principal Jason Quick. “While his record and reputation speak for themselves, it was the remarkable character and integrity he displayed during our interviews and conversations that affirmed why he is the right man for the job. His passion for young people and commitment to having a positive impact on their lives is parallel to the same mission that THS shareholders have.I am excited about the future of our girls program under Chad’s leadership and I am convinced that he and his family will be a valuable addition to the Tullahoma community . ”
Hibdon’s appointment comes after former Tullahoma coach Cody McMurtry resigned in late December. Dale Alsup coached the Lady Wildcats for the remainder of the 2021-2022 season. Tullahoma ended the year with a record of 16-11, going 7-3 against district opponents. After losing in the District 8-AAA semifinals, the Lady Wildcats’ season ended with a 44-36 loss to Upperman during the Region 4-AAA Tournament in February.
“I can not thank Dale Alsup enough to step in and lead our Lady Wildcats in the final piece of last season. I’m very excited to welcome Chad Hibdon to Tullahoma City Schools, ”said TCS Director of Schools, Dr. Catherine Stephens. Coach Hibdon brings an impressive resume to THS and we are delighted that he, his wife Lea, his son Eli and daughter Lydia Grace have decided to call Tullahoma home. I have known Chad for many years as a graduate student and as a coach “that our daughter competed against when she played high school basketball. He’s a great man and coach, and I’m glad he’s joining the TCS family.”
After Blackman, Hibdon coached at the collegiate level and took over the helm of Truett-McConnell University’s women’s program in 2015. He then returned to Tennessee in 2016, when he was appointed women’s head coach at Trevecca Nazarene University before resigning in March last year. .
“Getting back to high school teaching and coaching was the next goal,” Hibdon said. “This level is where we found success in the past years and where we felt most connected to the program and the community. Because we see the promise and the opportunity to succeed, that’s what drew us here to Tullahoma.”
While searching for a new coach, Quick and Athletic Director John Olive wanted to identify a candidate who could take Tullahoma’s performance on the field to the next level. With two state titles already under his belt, the pair believe Hibdon was the ideal candidate in that regard.
“It took a lot of hard work and commitment and investment from everyone to win these state championships at Blackman,” Hibdon said. “You have to have driven young ladies who want more than average success. They need to understand that it is a process and a progression to get up to that level. It’s a recipe that requires a wealth of people, including support from families for our players, coaches, school administrators, the community and more. It will not happen again unless the roots are deep. ”
While Quick and Olive were looking for a winner on the field, there were several additional characteristics that they were looking for in their coaching search. According to Quick, Hibdon possessed all these qualities.
“We wanted a head coach who has a reputation for character and integrity, a proven track record of success in building a winning program both on and off the field,” Quick said. “We were also looking for someone who will help develop our young ladies. We want our players to be well-rounded individuals and be prepared to succeed in life beyond basketball, modeling a commitment to excellence in all. efforts and show a strong sense of serving the community. These characteristics are what Coach Hibdon brings to Tullahoma, and I’m so excited about our girls basketball program. ”
According to Hibdon, he has four pillars for his approach to coaching: Give, grow, love and win.
“Giving is about sacrificing oneself for something greater,” Hibdon said. “Growing is about the thirst and hunger that a player wants to get better every day. Love is about loving each other through ups and downs, successes and failures and really embodies that passion for the team, school, Tullahoma and the game of basketball. Winning will be the by-product of the other three pillars. ”
While he undoubtedly wants to see his players succeed on the floor, Hibdon also wants his athletes to thrive as individuals. He wants his team to consist of high academic performance and leaders in the classroom, school and community.
“These are things we want to embrace, encourage and promote. We want to translate that into the basketball court and become leaders. There is no better way to lead than with your efforts and unity. We also want to be tough, be disciplined and detailed, but we also want to have fun. It’s about enjoying the game we love. To succeed, there has to be work. There is no easy way, and there has to be that commitment to work. “