Altroy Staley has been named the new girls basketball head coach at Lakewood High School.
Staley, who is an Orangeburg native, replaces Stephen Adams. Adams resigned after one season at Lakewood to take a boys assistant coaching job with …
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Staley, who is an Orangeburg native, replaces Stephen Adams. Adams resigned after one season at Lakewood to take a boys assistant coaching job with Lexington. Tahe Lady Gators were 3-22 last season.
Staley comes to Lakewood after two years as the boys head coach at Bamberg-Ehrhardt. B-E was 11-29 in his two seasons, including 6-13 last year.
Staley has been a girls head coach before, serving two years at Hunter-Kinard-Tyler and one year at North.
Staley said there are a lot of reasons why he applied for the Lakewood job.
"It was just an interesting job to me," Staley said. "I wanted to try to move up to a 4A school (Lakewood is dropping down to 3A in classification this year) anyway because I've always been at a 1A or 2A school.
"Honestly it means everything (to get the job). I'm just so appreciative they considered the work I've done before to actually be good enough to lead these girls and build a program. I'm humbled."
While not from Sumter, Staley has some Sumter connections. He started his college career at Morris College before eventually graduating from Claflin University in Orangeburg. One of his fellow Claflin graduates is former Lakewood athletic director and boys basketball head coach Terrence Scriven.
"I know the work he put in there and the things he did, and they have a rich history," Staley said. "They've always had a pretty good girls team.
"I'm hoping I can bring the necessary qualities, the intellect and the knowledge to build a great program and do what we need to do to make this one of the premier girls programs in the state."
Lakewood played for the 3A state title in 2015.
While he has experience in coaching both boys and girls, Staley said he doesn't take any different approach in his coaching method.
"I try to coach the athletes," he said. "I try to approach them basically with care. I want to care about the kids first. Once they see you care, you grab their trust, and when you grab their trust that's going to lead to great things. An athlete is an athlete and they want to do their best."
Staley, who has been married to his wife, Lakisha, for five years, said he likes to push the envelope defensively. He likes to play high pressure defense and cause turnovers.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Staley hasn't had a chance to meet with any of his new players. He hopes that day will be coming soon when Sumter School District allows student-athletes to begin workouts.
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