E.A. Sports Today

Chambless lands at Heflin

Former Jacksonville coach confirmed as new Cleburne County boys hoops coach

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

HEFLIN — Ryan Chambless has been confirmed as the new boys basketball coach at Cleburne County. He replaces Doug Ward, who resigned from his coaching duties with the Tigers for family reasons last month.

Chambless was abruptly reassigned at Jacksonville High School near the end of the school year after coaching both the boys and girls basketball teams. He coached the Golden Eagles’ girls team to a state title and another Final Four appearance before giving up that program to coach only the boys last season.

“I’ve been telling everybody I’m just really grateful for this opportunity,” Chambless said Monday night. “A lot of people say that as a cliche but I’m really grateful. I really am.”

When the change at Jacksonville happened, Chambless believed he would coach again. As recently as two weeks ago he was torn about the direction he should go, but he had a brief conversation with his father, retired Alexandria principal Ron Chambless, that was became as poignant as it was instructional.

It was the last conversation he had with his dad. He lost his father suddenly shortly thereafter.

“I don’t feel like (Jacksonville’s) decision was going to determine the remainder of my life. I wasn’t going to allow it to determine the remainder of my life,” Chambless said. “Looking back now it’s kind of like all part of a plan that was something that was a lot bigger than me. I think God worked all of this out for several reasons.”

Cleburne County officials also confirmed the hires of Brittany Strott as head volleyball coach (filling another of Ward’s spots) and Kyle Kilgore as head track coach and varsity basketball and football assistant.

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