SW Va. Notes: Coaching vacancies continue to mount

Kevin Mays • Mar 29, 2019 at 5:00 PM

The high school basketball coaching vacancies continue to mount up in Southwest Virginia.

Boys coaches Aaron Williams, of J.I. Burton; Brian Coomer, of Lee High; Chad Bailey, of Marion; and girls coach Kelly Hood, of Rye Cove, have resigned in the last month.

The ranks of coaches leaving their positions — by choice or not — have grown by one in the region.

On Thursday, Twin Springs Principal Jordan Mullins confirmed that boys coach Mark Dockery has been terminated from the position.

“I would like to thank Coach Dockery for the contributions he has made to Twin Springs basketball and to our program over the years. He has always had a passion for the game and a strong commitment to our kids and our school,” Mullins said in an emailed statement Thursday. “However, for the 2019-20 season, Twin Springs will be moving in a different direction with our boys basketball program. We are currently in the process of searching for, identifying, and hiring our new head coach.”

Dockery said Thursday he was surprised and shocked when he was informed that his coaching contract was not being renewed for the 2019-20 season. He said the decision was “very disappointing.”

Dockery, a teacher at Nickelsville Primary, is a graduate of Twin Springs and was a star player in the storied history of Titans basketball.

He was a head coach at Castlewood, then an assistant at Twin Springs before taking over the program three seasons ago.

His teams were a combined 19-46 over the three years, including a 6-17 campaign this past season.


Don’t look now, but spring has been good so far for most of Virginia-Wise’s athletic programs.

Virginia-Wise is in its last season as a member of the NCAA Division II Mountain East Conference, and almost every team is at the top or near the top of the MEC standings.

The Cavs will play in the Southern Athletic Conference beginning in the fall.

Baseball had a rough start to the season, but the Cavaliers are on a tear with a seven-game winning streak. The Cavs are 13-12 overall, but hold a 7-1 conference mark and sit atop the South Division standings.

The Virginia-Wise softball team is 12-13 overall, but stands at 5-3 in MEC play. That’s a conference mark good enough to put the Cavaliers in third place in the South Division, just a game behind Concord and West Virginia State, which are tied for first in the division standings.

The lacrosse team, 3-5 overall, has played only won MEC game, but it was a win. The Cavaliers are a half game behind Wheeling Jesuit in the early-season conference standings.

The Cavaliers won the MEC championship last year.

The women’s tennis team has struggled with a 2-9 record this season. However, the Cavaliers are 2-1 in the conference standings, just a half game behind Charleston and West Liberty, which are both undefeated in conference play.

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