Sequatchie County High School has replaced its veteran girls' basketball coach with a first-year head coach.
Stephen Korpi takes over the Lady Indians one month after Anita Barker stepped down after 15 seasons to spend more time with her ailing mother.
"We think Coach Korpi will be a great addition and will bring a lot of energy to the program," principal Tommy Layne said. "I looked over a lot of applications, but his just jumped out at me, and after talking with him, I really believe he's the right man for the job.
"You have to start somewhere, and he's been around good programs and knows what he wants to get done here."
Korpi, 25, played baseball and basketball in high school in Decatur, Ala. He played both sports for one year at Bryan College before concentrating on baseball.
Korpi was an assistant boys' basketball and baseball coach at Halls High in West Tennessee and last year worked as an assistant with the girls' program at Haywood County in Brownsville.
"Basketball was always my first love, so I feel truly blessed to be getting the opportunity to be a head coach here," said Korpi, who will teach Algebra II and geometry. "I know the area from college and I love the mountains over here. It's my dream to be a college coach eventually, and this is a great program to begin my career.
Former Walker Valley player Susan Morris, who began her college career at Maryland and finished at Tennessee Wesleyan, has been hired as an assistant coach, working with the post players.
Barker directed the Lady Indians to three consecutive District 7-AA championships, 2007-09, and twice took them to sectionals. After just one win in her first season, they averaged more than 25 from 2006 to '09.
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 20 years, starting at the News-Free Press as a 19-year-old reporter. He has been with the Times Free Press since its inception and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers in the nation ...