Pacelli names new basketball coach

The move from coaching middle school to high school will be a challenge, but Alan Griffin feels he is ready for it.

Griffin, who coached the St. Anne’s basketball team this winter, has been named the new Pacelli boys basketball coach.

“I have to earn the respect of the players,” Griffin said. “I have to show them that I am willing to work, and then I will be able to gain their respect.”

Griffin knows that gaining the player’s respect will be one of the biggest changes as he transitions to the varsity level.

Griffin, who is in his first year Pacelli, played football at Carson-Newman. He also is an assistant football coach and the girls golf coach.

Griffin replaces Kalvin Baker, who guided Pacelli to its only two state playoff appearances in school history. Baker, who is a community coach, said there were a lot of factors that played into his decision.

With his busy work schedule, Baker knew before the season this would probably be his final one. He was the head coach for the last five years.

The Vikings made the playoffs in 2006 and 2008. Pacelli lost in the first round to Turner County of the Class A playoffs this year.

Pacelli is going to have to replace Jacquise Terry, who is the school’s all-time leading scorer, and Brandon Green, who averaged 20.4 points per game this season. Griffin plans to build off the recent success, but knows it’s not going to happen immediately.

“We are going to work with the athletes and try to establish a consistent program,” Griffin said. “The victories are going to come over a four-year period. They don’t come in one year, but we are going to win as many games as we can.”

Pacelli has had a handful of coaching changes recently. Bryan Eason replaced Jeff Battles, who accepted the Hardaway coaching job in February, as the head football coach. Chris Garner is the new athletic director.