GCT Grad New PHS Girl's Basketball Coach
The Lady Mohawk basketball team will have a new head coach for the coming school year, as Chase Halbrook of Paragould has been hired to fill the position. Halbrook, who will graduate from Arkansas State University with his Physical Education major later this year, was offered a contract to coach the Tribe during the Piggott School Board's April meeting. He replaces Coach Barry DeHart, who took over the job for one season as a stop-gap measure last fall.
"I went to Weiner Schools until I was in the seventh grade, and then transferred to Greene County Tech where I graduated high school," Halbrook noted of his background. The move to GCT also allowed him to play on back-to-back state championship basketball teams his sophomore and junior years for the Golden Eagles. After graduating from GCT, Halbrook spent two years at Crowley's Ridge College where he played on the basketball team, then transferred to ASU to complete his studies.
"I've wanted to be a coach since I was in the ninth grade, and realized I wasn't going to make it to the NBA," Halbrook said of the opportunity. "My dad and grandpa were both coaches, and my uncle, too. I also have a cousin who coaches at Cabot," he said of the family lineage. His father, Keith Halbrook, coached at Weiner, Bald Knob and at Paragould among other schools during his career. His uncle on is mother's side, Jay Robertson, also coached at both Paragould High School and GCT, stepping down as the Golden Eagle's boy's head coach at the conclusion of this past season.
Halbrook also points to the influence of the man Robertson replaced, Scott Bowlin, in his philosophy on coaching and the game of basketball. "Coach Bowlin was also a big influence on me and taught me a lot about the game, and I'm a better person for having played for him-not just a better athlete, but a better man," Halbrook explains. "When it comes right down to it basketball is just a game, but it teaches you lessons that can be used every day. That's the way I want to coach- to be a positive influence."
"I had not met Coach DeHart before the interview, but I heard a lot of good things about him," Halbrook said of fellow GCT graduate Barry DeHart, who led the squad last season. "I know he worked hard to try to turn the program around, and I just want to keep it rolling in the right direction."
Under DeHart's guidance the team made a turn-around this past season, although they lost in the first round of the district tournament at Manila. This fall they'll return a core of talented players, and will be expected to contend in the 3A-3 conference.
"I'm still getting everything lined-out on how we will be working around the volleyball schedule and such," he added. "I doubt if we'll be able to do any individual camps this year, but I'm doing everything I can to line up team camps for the girls and get them ready for next season."