George Wythe has two basketball head coaching vacancies, with the recent resignation of boys coach Joey Russell after five years on the job.
Bradley Sutphin said he resigned earlier in April after four years in charge of the Maroons’ girls program.
I spoke with both men Wednesday night. They both plan to retain their teaching positions and were limited in their comments about their departures. Russell has been at George Wythe for 18 years and is a football assistant and former head baseball coach.
Russell, who was an assistant under Al Copenhaver when George Wythe won the 2007-08 VHSL Group A Division 2 championship, had a 48-2 record in Hogoheegee games. The Maroons were unable to advance past the Region C tournament under Russell, falling in the semifinals four times, mostly against very tough opponents.
The Maroons also were eliminated in the region twice by Radford and once each by James River and Fort Chiswell. Radford won two Division 2 state titles and James River claimed one during that span.
George Wythe was 14-12 overall last winter, losing to Graham in a first-round regional game.
Sutphin posted a 32-61 overall record as George Wythe’s girls coach, reaching the Region C Division 2 tournament once. The Maroons posted an 18-22 record in the Hogoheegee.
George Wythe’s girls were 7-15 overall last winter and 4-6 in the Hogoheegee.
No doubt, George Wythe has boasted one of Timesland’s most successful boys basketball programs in the last three decades. A losing season in Wytheville is virtually unheard of.
Check out these statements from Wythe County school superintendent Lee Brannon:
“I would think the two programs in this part of the state that would be the most attractive are, one, Radford; and two, George Wythe,” he said. “There is an opportunity for future success.”
Brannon said the administration already has received feelers from “two very high-profile coaches close to us who have been very successful where they are.”