Gray steps down as ACCS girls basketball coach steps down

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 2, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; A familiar face will be storming the sidelines this year as coach of the Adams County Christian School girls basketball team, but it won&8217;t be John Gray&8217;s.

Terms of a deal were finalized Friday to bring coach Chuck Bauerle from Tensas Academy onboard to replace coach Gray, who is stepping down due to health concerns after 45 years of coaching basketball.

&8220;I&8217;m stepping in behind a legend,&8221; Baurle said. &8220;I&8217;m excited about the opportunity to do something different.&8221;

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Gray was responsible for finding his replacement and said Baurle was his first choice.

&8220;We had a lot of calls and interest in the position,&8221; Gray said. &8220;But when it came down to it I was most impressed with his coaching success and the way that I have seen him work with players. Chuck Bauerle

is the type of person we wanted to work with our girls.&8221;

The success that Gray speaks of includes six district championships, two runner-ups for the 2A state title and four appearances in the overall state tournament.

Not bad at all for a man who has been coaching varsity basketball for only eight years.

Familiarity with this year&8217;s group of seniors at ACCS, also makes Baurle seem like a perfect fit. This summer Baurle coached four of the ACCS&8217; seniors at an Amatuer Athletic Union basketball camp.

Last year ACCS went 29-8 and was runner up to the state title. This year ACCS will have seven players returning from that team, and is positioned to make another run deep into the playoffs.

&8220;I had considered staying on for another year against everyone&8217;s advice , but having someone like Chuck Bauerle to turn this team over to made the decision a lot easier,&8221; Gray said. &8220;I don&8217;t know that I would have felt the same way about it with anyone else.&8221;

For Tensas the move makes sense, as former junior varsity coach Alan Cringler looks ready to take the helm with his daughter now playing on the varsity team.

&8220;It should be a fun season,&8221; Baurle said. &8220;We&8217;re going to work hard and play hard, and hopefully get a few wins while doing it.&8221;