MATTHEWS – Joe Badgett takes over the Carmel Christian boys basketball team after serving as an assistant for the previous two seasons under former Charlotte 49er star Byron Dinkins.
Badgett, who has been Dinkins’ top assistant for eight years after the two former 49er teammates first joined forces at Northside Christian, is taking his second head coaching job after a previous stint at Queen’s Grant. He inherits a star-studded roster that went 24-4 and won a NCISAA 2A title last season. The roster includes next-level talents Donavon Gregory, Martin Maide, Myles Pierre, Jake Boggs and Ford Cooper, along with some intriguing transfers and key role players.
Sports editor Andrew Stark sat down with Badgett to see how his transition has been and what he expects for the 2018-19 season.
Q: Not a lot of coaches inherit a state championship winning team and especially one with a roster as loaded as what you will. What are you most excited for with this job?
Joe Badgett: First off, the support I have received from the parents and kids. That’s been the most exciting part.
When you coach with Byron and have the system in place like we do, I’ve always orchestrated all of that, but you don’t realize that people are paying attention to that sort of stuff. At the end of the day, people judge coaches on the games (they win or lose) on the court. They see you standing up at the games (as the head coach), but they don’t see all of the inner workings and things we’re doing for these kids.
We had a parent meeting and the parents were real candid. They said as long as (assistant coach Donald Kirby) and I are staying, they were going to be good with the change. That made it an easy transition because of their support. It made sense because we’ve always dealt with the parents.
As far as the kids, I’m excited because they’re good and they can play and we have several college prospects. I don’t have to be a rocket scientist with the X’s and O’s with the plays we run. We’ll continue to keep the focus on the kids as we always have.
Q: You’ve been with coach Dinkins for a while now, but is this different being the head guy for just the second time in your career?
JB: No. I’ve been with Byron for eight years as the head of basketball operations at Northside and now here for the past two years.
The only difference now is the referees can’t tell me to sit down any more.
Q: What changes other than that? Is this harder for you as far as responsibility or mostly the same thing you’re used to?
JB: The past eight years we’ve done a lot, and we’ll keep using those same things. I’ve been doing some of those things, like grade sheets and discipline, at Queen’s Grant and brought that to Northside.
Nothing changes except for it will be a different guy standing up than we had last year.
Read more from the interview, including Badgett’s thoughts on former Tar Heel Jeff McInnis getting a coaching shot, at www.thechar lotteweekly.com.