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Hampton pegs Carpenter to lead Lady Bulldogs

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com 
When Bud Hazelwood announced his retirement, Hampton Athletic Director Dewayne Humphrey and Principal Jeff Bradley went to work trying to find the right fit to take over their girl’s basketball program to push the Lady Bulldogs back to the top of the Watauga Valley Conference and bus rides to Murfreesboro.

On Wednesday, the school announced that Brandon Carpenter has been selected to be the person to do just that.

Carpenter isn’t a stranger to coaching in the Watauga Valley Conference as he had a good run of success when he coached the Cloudland boys in his last coaching stint before going into administration.

“Since I got into administration and out of coaching, I’ve kind of missed the coaching aspect so this opportunity actually presented itself and I am excited to get back to coaching, and hopefully we can get things turned around here in the Hampton’s girl’s program and do some good things,” said Carpenter after his introduction as the new coach.

Carpenter feels like his previous experience in coaching in the conference has allowed him to establish a connection with other coaches and getting back into coaching should be on an accelerated scale.

“I have built a lot of relationships with other coaches and athletic directors over the years so I have been around a lot, just not calling the shots,” Carpenter shared. “I am sure those first games that I am going to have butterflies just like the kids.

“That is what makes it exciting and appeals to me. I know these young ladies and I have had a lot of them come through the elementary school and it’s a great group and I am excited to work with them.”

The new coach was asked what his players and fans can expect to see as he takes over the girls’ program at Hampton.

“We are going to be fast-paced and play pressure defense. We are going to treat every rebound like a turnover and attack on offense. We are going to play a style of ball that fans like to watch and players like to play,” Carpenter stated.

“We want to compete on a state level and if we want to compete in the conference we are going to have to compete at that state level. They sent two teams to the state tournament this year and I think North Greene may have beat the number one ranked team in the state and they have a lot back.

“We have our work cut out for us. I know what it takes to get there but we are just going to have to get to work and we have a long ways to go.”

Hampton AD Humphrey said that when the door was opened to bring in Carpenter that they knew this was the right direction for the girls’ program after Hazelwood announced his retirement.

“We had an opportunity to bring Brandon in,” Humphrey said. “He is a proven winner and has had success taking several boys teams to the state tournament. We felt like it was a great fit for our girls for his style of play to come in and the girls would really excel and reach their potential.

“The girls want to win and compete. Brandon’s a proven winner. He wants to win and compete. He told the girls there was a lot of work to be done to catch up in the conference. We want to be the ones getting on the bus to Murfreesboro.”