Haywood named NHS interim coach

Published 12:04 am Friday, October 2, 2015

NATCHEZ — David Haywood has been named the interim head boys basketball coach at Natchez High School.

Haywood takes over after Mike Martin, who coached for 24 years, retired. Haywood served as the assistant coach for the better part of the last decade.

“I’m excited about the opportunity, and the guys seem to be excited about the things I’ve been getting them to do so far,” Haywood said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

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Haywood was a standout during his time as a Natchez High Bulldog. He scored more than 1,500 points in his career and was also named The Natchez Democrat’s Player of the Year in 2000. Haywood said he is hoping to bring his style of play to the current Bulldogs.

“I’m going to come in and prepare these guys to the best of my abilities,” he said. “We are trying to play catch up a bit trying to get them to understand the game from my point of view. It is always a transition from one style to another.”

Haywood inherits a team that fell in the second round of the playoffs last season, and said he expects the team to once again be a tough opponent at the 5A level.

“We had a decent year last year and I expect to have a pretty good year with the guys this year,” Haywood said. “As a whole, I want to take a look into the whole program and see how to advance it. I know the season is right around the corner, but I just want to prepare them to do the small things right.”

Haywood also said he is going to take a strong look into the junior high level, and try to find ways to develop talent at a young age as well.

“I want to start to try and build a good feeder program through the middle school where kids come to high school and are more fundamentally sound,” Haywood said. “I want to make sure these kids are equipped to play.”