E.A. Sports Today

Bearcats get a Winn

Beau Winn is back as a varsity head coach, takes reins as Weaver’s new boys basketball coach

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

If and when they ever start playing high school basketball again, Weaver will have a new head coach on its bench.

Beau Winn is back in the game.

Winn is returning to the boys varsity bench at Weaver, new principal Andy Keith’s choice to succeed Marcus Herbert, who left earlier this summer to join former Pleasant Valley coach Ryan Chambless’ basketball staff at Rome (Ga.) High School. He had been serving as Herbert’s assistant the previous two years.

“I can’t express (what it means),” Winn said. “You know the road I’ve been on. It’s just kind of come full circle. I’m just excited and ready to get after it.

“It’s been a long road, but I’m just excited to get back out there and get back to the way we know how to play basketball. These kids believe in me and I believe in them. That’s what it boils to. I’m not the best coach, but the kids know I believe in them and we work hard.”

Winn’s road back to the varsity bench has been a winding one. He was Wellborn’s head coach for two seasons between Jordan Angle runs (2013-14 and 2014-15). He took the Panthers to the sub-regionals for the first time in 17 years in his first season, but went 6-15 the next year, losing seven games by three points or fewer, including a season-ending buzzer-beater to Weaver in the area tournament.

He lost the post after that second season because, even though he worked in the school system as a para-pro, he didn’t have the required credentials to meet the policy to serve as coach (ironically, the same situation that created the vacancy he filled at Weaver). But he went back to school, got the proper certification, and resurfaced – first at Ohatchee for three years and then at Weaver.

“It hurt a lot having to give that up,” he said, “but having to go through that road makes a big difference in knowing I can tell these kids even if you fall down you can get back up and you’re going to get a second chance.”

Once you’ve been the man, you want to be the man and Winn has always wanted that. He gets the chance to be the man again with the Bearcats – as long as there’s a season in this age of COVID-19. The team he inherits will be young. The hire was made shortly after Keith came aboard as principal, but Winn didn’t have a summer workout with his charges.

He knows them though. Kyle and Brendyn Knight are returning seniors, but the rest are sophomores, including Killer Bs Tristan Brown and Armane Burton. Brown and Burton burst onto the scene as a tandem last year when they combined for 39 points in the Bearcats’ down-15-in-the-fourth-quarter Calhoun County Tournament overtime win over 14th-seeded Faith Christian.

“It’s always in the back of your mind are we really going to get to do this,” Winn said. “But we’re coming in hot. We’re going to come in like we’re playing. We’re going to be ready. Who knows what the future holds. It’s day-by-day. Who knew we were going to get to be here.”

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