Joining football coach Hayden Chandley and baseball’s Spencer Street, 28-year-old Cody Connell was the pick to lead the basketball program. Connell, who takes over after John Good left to coach at Unicoi County, was announced as the Pioneers’ coach on Thursday.
“I love the coaches who are there right now,” said Connell. “I’m excited to work beside them and keep the culture going that they’ve created.”
Connell, who was an assistant at Boone prior to the hire, said he believes he is ready.
“I feel like I’ve been around and under some very good mentors,” said Connell. “Ken Cutlip, Beau Hauldren, and Chris Brown have helped me a lot. I watched how they did things and learned a lot from them. I think I’m prepared.”
Connell said leaving Boone was tough.
“They supported me there and taught me a lot,” he said. “I loved being at Boone. But I prayed about it and talked to my family. It was a tough decision, but you don’t get many chances to be a head coach in the Big Seven Conference.”
Connell graduated from Boone in 2009. He’s originally from Georgia, moving to the area with his dad, a pastor, and his brothers when he was 12 years old. Kevin also played at Boone, and these days coaches junior-college softball in Mississippi. Younger brother Kirby was the South Carolina 2A player of the year, and the left-handed pitcher has signed to play collegiately at the University of Tennessee.
Cody graduated from ETSU with a degree in sports management. He coached baseball and basketball at Liberty Bell before moving over to Boone.
Crockett athletic director Josh Kite said Connell is another young energetic coach.
“He possesses a tremendous amount of basketball knowledge and will be a great mentor to our student-athletes,” said Kite. “We are thrilled to have him on board.”