E.A. Sports Today

Hunt gets his shot

Long-time assistant approved as new Jacksonville boys basketball coach

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — After cutting his coaching teeth on the developmental levels, Cordell Hunt is getting his first shot at running a boys varsity basketball program.

Hunt, a veteran Jacksonville assistant on the junior high and B-team levels, was approved Tuesday night as the Golden Eagles’ boys varsity coach.

He succeeds Ryan Chambless, who was relieved of his coaching duties near the end of the school year. Chambless had guided the Jacksonville girls team to a state championship during his tenure and after coaching both boys and girls teams for a time had only the boys team last season.

“I’m excited about getting it,” Hunt said. “I’ve had multiple junior high coaches call me and say I was really rooting for you. I’ve been doing junior high a long time and us coaches really stick together. It was nice to see one of us get promoted. It’s just really nice.”

Hunt, 37, was the second of three candidates interviewed for the position. The others were said to be from Jacksonville and Hokes Bluff.

Shortly after his interview Hunt left on a family cruise to The Bahamas and was disconnected from news on the process for a week. It made for some admittedly “very nerve wracking” days.

“You use the phones on those boats and it’s beaucoup money,” he said. “As soon as the boat got into Charleston, it was like 4 or 5 a.m., I was trying to text somebody to let me know what was going on.”

Hunt was a standout player for late Alexandria coach Larry Ginn. He inherits a team that returns starters Rivan Hill and Taye Ackles and he promises a style reminiscent of his former coach.

“If anybody knows anything about him, that guy cared about being disciplined and playing good defense, and that’s what we’re going to be,” he said. “I want to redo our brand of basketball. I want people to enjoy the type of basketball we play.”

Hunt has some catching up to do, but plans to meet with his players for the first time Monday to get the ball rolling.

“I see everybody doing summer leagues and our kids didn’t get anything and that was frustrating, but it is what it is,” he said. “We are a little bit behind the eight-ball – everybody else got 3, 4, 5 weeks of extra work in we didn’t … but we’re going to get the boys up Monday and they’ll get our expectations and they’re going to get a workout.”

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