PREP BASKETBALL: CHS hires WSCC’s Jessica McBrayer as new varsity girls basketball coach

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New Cullman High Schools girls basketball coach Jessica McBrayer, who joins the Bearcats from Wallace State Community College in Hanceville. (WSCC)

CULLMAN, Ala. — Cullman High School is adding some college coaching experience to its varsity girls basketball program, with Jessica McBrayer set to take over as head coach of the Lady Bearcats. McBrayer most recently led Wallace State Community College’s Lady Lions womens’ basketball team for the past several seasons, compiling an impressive record along the way.

“I am honored to accept the position as the Head Coach for Cullman High School Girls Basketball. I would like to thank Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff, Principal Allison Tuggle, Athletic Director Mark Stephens, and the entire school board for trusting me to lead this program,” McBrayer said. “It is an opportunity I accept with gratitude and eagerness. There has never been a more exciting time to be involved in girls basketball. I can see the importance Cullman’s leadership is placing in that area and that excites me for the future of girls athletics in Cullman. I’m looking forward to cultivating a supportive, enthusiastic culture around girls basketball that will be built on competitiveness, grit, and hard work. Games are won by inches, therefore, we will pride ourselves on all the small details in order to be competitive each and every day. Favor follows hard work and I expect our program to be the hardest working one in the state.”

McBrayer will take over for Jonathan Hayes, who coached the Lady Bearcats for the 2022-2023 season.

“Before we discuss Coach McBrayer I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Coach Hayes and his willingness to lead the program while it was in a transitional period,” Cullman City Schools Athletic Director Mark Stephens said. “He truly represents and captures who we are as Bearcats, and I can’t say thank you enough to him.”

McBrayer has compiled well over 100 wins during her time at Wallace State, leading the team to a NJCAA Division I National Championship appearance in the 2019-2020 season. Her teams frequently reached and made runs to the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) championship game. She was twice named the ACCC Co-North Coach of the Year.

McBrayer became head coach at Wallace State in 2018, and served as an assistant and interim coach before that. McBrayer, who is originally from Hartselle but now resides in Cullman, played at Wallace State from 2007-2009.

“Stepping away from Wallace State was a difficult decision, as they believed in me enough to give me my first opportunity to coach and have continued to have faith and support me for years to coach, lead, and develop young women,” McBrayer added. “My president at Wallace State, Dr. Karolewics, has empowered me to be a strong female leader and has given me all the tools needed to be successful. I will forever be grateful for my time as a lion and appreciate their support during this transition.”

Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff said he looks forward to seeing what McBrayer brings to the Bearcats, with her wealth of coaching experience at such a high level.

“We are incredibly excited to have someone with Coach McBrayer’s experience and pedigree take the helm of our varsity girls basketball program,” Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff said. “She’s a proven winner and we know she’ll bring that mentality to Cullman High School.”

Stephens said McBrayer plans to hit the ground running for the Lady Bearcats, meeting with the team later today and planning a parent meeting on Monday at 7 p.m. in Bearcat Arena. Tryouts and evaluations are being planned for mid-May. More information will be disseminated through the school’s social media channels.

“Coach McBrayer’s body of work at Wallace makes her a candidate to lead any high school program in the country,” Stephens said. “Our standard is to pursue the best, and we have done just that. We have some outstanding talent in our girls program, I’m excited to see our players develop under her leadership.”