New Good Hope volleyball coach Natasha Holcombe (center) at Thursday's meeting of the Cullman County Board of Education. / Johnny Thornton
CULLMAN – In athletic news from Thursday's meeting of the Cullman County Board of Education, the board approved the hiring of Wanda Gilliland to be first-ever district-wide athletic director, effective July 1.
Gilliland will work on a part-time basis in the new position the board created to maintain an effective athletic program for the school system.
Gilliland recently retired as assistant director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, serving 24 years in the position down in Montgomery.
A conflict kept Gilliland from attending the Thursday meeting. Gilliland will begin her job right away and could be back in Montgomery next week for the yearly summer conference hosted by the AHSAA.
Two new coaches were introduced and officially hired by the board during the regular monthly meeting.
Natasha Holcombe was named volleyball coach at Good Hope High School. Holcombe is a 2014 graduate of Holly Pond High, and played basketball at Gadsden State Community College. She continued her education at Athens State University.
Holcombe has been with her new team for three days inside the gymnasium. An all-day camp was conducted by Holcombe for the varsity and junior varsity, prior to her attending the board meeting.
Holcombe reports the Lady Raiders will participate in a team camp hosted by Wallace State Community College July 24-26. They will begin fall practice Aug. 7.
Stephen Robinson is the new head football coach at Vinemont. Robinson is a 1996 graduate of Vinemont and spent the past two years at his alma mater, serving as offensive coordinator. Before that, he spent three years as OC for Brewer High School.
Robinson was joined by his wife at the board meeting, along with Vinemont's new principal Robin Netherton and assistant principal Johnny Whaley.
Robinson told The Tribune the season opener for the Eagles vs. the Good Hope Raiders will be played on Thursday, Aug. 31 at Mark Smothers Field in Vinemont. Several websites listed the game for Sept. 1, but the game will be played on the final day of August. This is due to a contract signed between the two schools from last season to play the game on a Thursday, being the season opener for both teams.
The following schools have vacancies in these positions: Varsity basketball coach at Fairview High, varsity girls’ basketball coach at Holly Pond, varsity track and field coach at West Point High.
Fairview’s school board representative, Chris Carter, told The Tribune after the meeting that the school is in the process of filling the basketball coaching position that was vacated in the spring when Eddie Groves resigned after coaching the team for two years.
The vacancies could be possibly be filled when a special meeting of the Cullman County Board of Education takes place on July 31 at the central board conference room at 6 p.m.
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