E.A. Sports Today

Done deal

Weaver’s Herbert formally joins Ryan Chambless’ coaching staff in Rome; Oxford wrestling coach Routon heading to Arab
By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
It took a couple days to finalize, but Weaver boys basketball coach Marcus Herbert is officially joining Ryan Chambless’ coaching staff at Rome High School.
Herbert on Friday accepted a para-professional teaching position at Rome’s West Central Elementary School, which will allow him to become Chambless’ assistant varsity coach, junior varsity basketball coach and coach in the football and track programs. Chambless was approved at the Wolves’ head coach Tuesday night.
He was rumored to have a chance at joining Chambless at the Georgia Class 6A school, but the 34-year-old needed some time to contemplate what he called a “life-changing” decision.
“Weaver’s home and I’ve been here since kindergarten up until now,” he said. “It’s bittersweet, but then, too, it’s good for change and maybe it can open up more opportunities for me in the future. I’m excited.”

Both coaches, two of the top young coaches in Calhoun County, have solid basketball pedigrees and are committed to their players, the game and winning. They also were about to be coaching free agents through no fault of their own.
Chambless’ teaching unit at Pleasant Valley was about to go away. Herbert fell victim to a new Calhoun County school board policy prohibiting hourly employees/non-certified teachers from coaching in the county system. He will continue working towards his degree while at Rome and is scheduled to graduate next May, then pursue a Masters is social science.
Their connection as potential coaching mates began back in March while discussing their mutual situations and there were no options on the table.
“He said if I ever get a big gig somewhere you can come work with me,” Herbert said. “Well, fast-forward to late April, beginning of May, and the opportunity was presented to both of us. I think God works in mysterious ways. I’m just blessed for a second chance to do what I love, to impact kids’ lives.”

Herbert was the hand-picked successor of former Weaver basketball coach Daryl Hamby. He got the job a week before the 2019 season opener and enjoyed a 19-10 first season with a senior-laden roster. Rebuilding, the team won six games this past season.
“Marcus is great,” Chambless said. “He grew up playing for Coach Hamby and there’s a Coach Hamby-Larry Ginn connection there, so Marcus understands the full-court press, the amount of effort and work, the work ethic we’re looking at having in practice. Marcus is a perfect fit. He understands because he’s played it as a player and coached it as a coach. It’s a perfect fit. I feel better knowing I got Marcus.”
Routon heading to Arab
Oxford wrestling coach Kyle Routon was approved as the new wrestling coach at state power Arab Thursday night. He won state championships at his alma mater Southside and Oxford, and takes over one of the state’s truly dominant programs. He won wrestling’s Grand Slam in his first year with the Yellow Jackets – county, state duals, sectionals, state championship.
“I hated to leave, but it felt right,” he said.
The Yellow Jackets will search for a new wrestling coach, then fill Routon’s football coaching slot next if they aren’t the same.

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